Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - May 2, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Soturday, May 2, 1970 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 5 Builders Of The South 4 Margaret Luckhurst From Bottom To Top Of Catering Career "T DON'T think I have df.e anything to deserve the honor of being considered among the builders of southern Sven Ericksen stated with predictable mod e s t y during a recent interview. "If I have helped Lethbridge in any tangible way, then I have sim- ply been following my convic- tions. For I do not believe the community owes anything to its citizens, while on the other hand, the citizens certainly owe a great deal to their commun- ity." In spite of Mr. Ericksen's self effacing opinions how- ever1, there is considerable evi- dence to support the fact that he has contributed to the growth of this area in no small For apart from political commitment at the local level, and serving on numerous or- ganizational boards from time to time, he has conscientiously pioneered all phases of' the catering and food industry. "If I know a great deal about food, its pi'eparation, and the difficulties of being a good res- taurateur, it is because I have been in the business in ways both large and small, Jnce I was a young Mr. Erick- sen pointed out, "after all those years, one just naturally learns a few important details about the business if one is responsi- ble and reasonably intelligent." Mr. Ericksen admits he didn't have any specific career in mind when he emigrated to Canada from Denmark when he was just 19 years old. if "My parents were he recalled, "and when I fin- ished high-school, like any other young fellow I started thinking of my life in terms of high adventure, and routine farm life didn't offer much of that. I had read many glowing advertisements encourag i n g emigrants to try their fortune in Canada. Young men were assured farm jobs of some type, but of course I was hoping for something else. What could I lose under the circumstances; I decided to try my luck." When Mr. Ericksen arrived in Winnipeg in the spring of 1926 toting his few belongings and struggling with a thick Danish accent, there was a work order at the employment bureau for 30 farm hands around Saskatoon. So after all those miles and some fond hopes, he had come full cir- cle! However, realizing he was lucky to have a job of any kind in those tough times, he went out to Saskatoon where he stayed 16 months. But that's a long time in a young life. He was restless and quit the farm. After that fol- lowed a procession of odd jobs; working on a road gang, moving from place to place harvesting; sawing wood in a lumber camp and skivvying in a Bosetown cafe was h i n g dishes. "There was a very definite fact of life I came to under- stand at an early Mr. Ericksen grinned, "if I didn't work, I didn't eat." Finally, having worked his way west, Sven was hired on at a Calgary outlet of Picardy's, a chain famous for their baked products and quick meals. "I started out as a dish- washer, (a job I knew far more about than I wanted to little realizing that I was on the bottom rung of a lengthy career in restaurant Mr. Ericfcsen recalled. "In the twenty years that followed I was to work in every phase of the business, finally ending up on the board of managers. At tills time I had the opportunity of taking over the catering at the Marquis Hotel, which I did." "The motel Industry in Loth- bridge slowly began to develop after the Second World Mi'. Ericksen reminisced. "I believe Mel Fengstad had one of the first motels the El Rancho on the strip, and as early as 1949 had begun a car- hop service. Later he put on a dining room and I took over the catering there. It's inter- esting to note that affluence and travel influence society's habits. At one time, if people had to eat out it usually wasn't so much from choice as neces- sity, and it was simply that eating. However, travel to Eu- ropean countries where dining is regarded as an integral part of life was a great influence in the leisure habits of our cul- ture. People were no longer satisfied with make-shift meals in greasy spoons. They wanted candlelight and wine, and the more sophisticated Canadian restaurateurs were at last able to give it to them." In 1967 the El Rancho's dining room and part of the motel were destroyed by fire. "It was about time I got out on my Mr. Ericksen said, "and this forced me into it. I leased the 3rd Avenue site where there was an old empty service station and opened up with a Colonel Sanders Ken- tucky Fried Chicken franchise. I had known Colonel Sanders for over 30 years. He is an honorary colonel, a title be- stowed on him by the govern- ment of Kentucky. For years he was known in the south for his fried chicken which he served exclusively in a small restaurant. But a highway by- pass took travellers away from the general area of this famous nlace, and while he tried to en- courage 'take-outs' the idea didn't work and inevitably he suffered a severe financial set- back. In fact he was down and out. He visited us at the El Hancho at that time and help- ed around the kitchen making chicken pot pics. He and his wife were both 65 but they didn't have money for lodging and had to sleep in their car. It will inspire young people, and older ones too, to know that later that year Col. Sand- ers returned to Salt Lake City where he began franchising his famous chicken. I guess one is never too old to succeed. In the years following, this old man had outlets all over the continent. Large amounts of revenue go to the Col. Sanders Foundation, and here in Leth- bridge we have established a scholarship at the university." if In 1969 Mr. Ericksen realized a life long dream in the open- ing ol his restaurant on Mayor Magrath Drive. "I insisted on good workmanship and quality in the he said, "and I think people enjoy the atmos- phere. I like the personal ser- vice I can give here. In a chain, there isn't the same sense of responsibility, and of course, teenagers don't de- mand personal service. They are happy with drive-ins, when they get older, and travel more, they will look for. gra- ciousness and quality too." As a pioneer in the restau- rant business, Mr. Ericksen gave time and effort to its pro- Poems From History The Journals of Susannah Moodic, by Margaret Atwood, (Oxford University Press, 61 p., CUSANNAH MOODIE early Canadian pioneer, de- serves a place in our history books along with Laura Secord. While her journals, which in- spired this book of poems do not excite the imagination with episodes as heroic as those of Laura prodding a cow along on a dangerous mission, they are authentic in that they reflect the opinions and sentiments of Susannah herself. Susannah emig rated from England in 1832, to Upper Can- ada where she settled on a farm with her husband. In her books and journals she exhibits a tendency to be di- vided in her sentiments toward her new country. She praises the landscape while accusing it of destroying her; she dislikes the people already in Canada, but finds in people her only refuge from the land itself. She preaches progress, but mourns tlis destruction of the wilder- ness. Life becomes somewhat easier when, after struggling with poverty and the hardship of primitivn life, the family moves to Belleville where her husband is appointed sheriff. Margaret Atwood, the young Alberta author and poet catches the spirit of the diabolical Su- sannah in the poems she's adapted from the journals. Sometimes the spirit is sullen and narrow, showing inexpli- cable hurt as in "First Neigh- bors." The people I live among, unforgivingly previous to me, grudging the way I breathe their property, the air, speaking a twisted dialect to my differently- shaped ears though I tried to adapt (the girl in a red tattered petticoat, who jeered at me for my burned bread Go back where you came from) In "The a poem dealing with the frustrations of the homes t e a d e r s' life, she shows a measure of gentle compassion. Anything Margaret Atwood writes can be read with re- spect and admiration. She has a sensitive insight into the prob- lems of the 'everyday' person, particularly women, and know- ingly champions their many connlexities. MARGARET LUCKHURST. motion. He served as president of the Canadian Restaurant As- sociation in 1955 and has been honored by the Alberta Region of that association. He is past president of the Alberta Tourist Association and has served as leadership chairman of the ad- visory committee for the food service training course at the south Alberta Institute of Tech- nology. "My first step into commun- ity service was when I served as president of the curling Mr. Ericksen explained, "then I was active in Kiwanis, the Masons and served as the president of the exhibition board in 19CO, the year the new building, was .erected. I .served on council as an independent candidate for four years. Dur- ing that time we were pleased to see the Yates Centre built. In fact a lot happened in Lethr bridge at that time. I think perhaps more is done when there are fewer numbers on council." Mr. Ericksen stated he was diametrically opposed to the University being established in the west side site. "I think in the long run, the city will see it has been an unwise he said sagely, "It is going to be a costly step, and at a point in time when expenditures for educational grants are being closely watched." Mr. Ericksen says he is watching the One Prairie Prov- ince Enquiry with interest. "It probably will come to he said, "for every province seems to think it is discrimi- nated against. What we really need in Canada is a united pride, then these talks of pull- ing away and separation would be unnecessary." In his travels across the country as president of the Restaurant Association, Mr. Ericksen has had the oppor- tunity to'see Canadianism at work first hand. "We have our troubles on the Prairies, he pointed out, "but the Mari- limes have made slow progress in generations. We need to be less concerned with our own needs and analyze the needs of the country as a whole, "then we may be better able to help each other." As a help-meet, Mr. Erick- sen has been ably supported by his wife and also his daughter who assist him with his busi- ness. "I even have my son-in- law interested he grin- ned. Asked if he liked to cook Mr. Ericksen looked surpris e d. he said, "although I worked in all departments in the kitchen I never became ex- pert in any. I think I had the idea that if evei' I learned to become a first class that's where-I'd'Stay first class baker. I felt there was more to the business than just that." Sven Ericksen Boofc Reviews Mismanagement Is Costly "Up the Organization" by Robert Townsend; (Alfred A. Knopf; 202 pages; hardcover; TJOBERT Townsend, chief executive of Avis Bent A Car during the days when it started its "We Try Harder" campaign, has written an un- orthodox, irreverent and scin- tillating book that belongs on the shelf next to The Peter Principal. He starts from the top of ev- ery business, big or small, and dismantles it layer by layer, exposing to the core all of the ridiculous and often costly- mismanagement practices that seem to permeate every busi- ness. His solutions? A little hard on the professional unemploy- ment picture, but he says to fire all of the deadwood and most of the company experts, and proceed to build a busi- ness where the employees and the employer can have fun while they work and be busy all the time. "Fire the whole advertising department and your old agen- he says. "Fire the whole personnel depart men he adds. "Fire your public rela- tions department he de- clares. "Fire the purchasing de- he continues. And look, at the assistants-to only people who thor- oughly uiijuy being assistants- to are manage- ment consultants who borrow your watch to tell you what time it is and then walk off with and when you're through looking, fire them all. He adds that no executive or manager, no matter what the business is, should be allowed to keep his job for more than five or six years: "By then he's stale, bored and utterly depen- dent on his own they may have been revolution- ary ideas when he first brought them to the office." Townsend says that before an executive employs new staff he should look to see if the ex- isting staff has enough work. He says if one employee seems jealous of another employee's accidental trespass on his area of responsibility, then he hasn't enough work to do. On office hours: "Anyone who makes over a week should be allowed to set his own office hours. People have different metabolisms. If you work better from noon to mid- night and your job makes thoso hours appropriate, you should be able to do it." On secrecy: "Secrecy is to- tally bad. It implies either: 'What I'm doing is so horrible I don't dare tell or 'I don't trust you.' On staff meetings: "The few- er the better; no attendance ta- ken voluntary attendance; one page minutes dictated (by tlw meeting typed and circulated the same day." On memoes: usually a waste cf time; a one way street allowing no discussion except by forcing someone to waste his own valuable time circulat- ing an answering memo; should only be used to spread simple information. On mistakes: "Admit your own mistakes openly, maybe even joyfully. Don't castigate others for theirs. Beware the boss who walks on water and never makes a mistake. Save yourself a lot of grief and seek employment elsewhere." Up the Organization is a book for employees as much as for employers: what's your .boss like and how efficient is the company you work for? (And Townsend offers an enlighten- ing 10 question test to help you rate And, lest anyone wonders if Townsend knows whereof he speaks: he has been a senior executive trouble shooter for about 20 years, for such firms as American Express, Dun and Bradstreet, CRM Commursica- tions Research Machines and, of course, Avis. When he took Avis over, the company had not made a profit in 13 years. In his first year it showed a ?1 million profit; sec- ond year a million profit; and third year a million prof- it and a 250 per cent in- crease in rental sales. A final word of Townsend ad- vice: listen to your experts. And lie did listen to himself: he retired from Avis after three years, as he had from his oth- er interests, and has embarked on trouble shooting endeavors for other businesses. JIM WILSON. Focus on the University By J. W. FiSHBOURNt Transient Youth WITH much interest and more entiu- siasm, I hear there are plans afoot to develop a hostel or centre for transient young people this summer. In my view, which I sincerely hope is shared by enough of (he significant people and organizations of this city, this project is eminently de- sirable, and as reasonable as it is humane. The desirability of establishing such a centre in Lcthbridge should not need ar- guing. I like to believe that there is still enough humanity in all of us to recognize that there should be food for those who are hungry, and shelter for those without a place to sleep for the night. To give food to the hungry and shelter to the homeless is no more than simple, human charity, and I remember reading some- where that and the greatest of these is charity." (Au older version, I admit.) And for those of you to whom this kind of charity comes hard, it may help to remeber that for everyone of "theirs" that comes to Lethbridge, there rail be one of "ours" on the road, somewhere, too. For those who don't feel charitable at all, particularly toward youngsters they think should stay at home and do whatever it is they believe youngsters, should do during the summer When they cannot find work, I would like to point out that there is nothing unreasonable from the point of view of Lethbridge and its taxpayers in providing a place to. sleep for the mo- bile youngsters of this day. They are hu- man, so they are going to eat and they are going to sleep at night. Whether you think they should be eating and sleeping in Leth- bridge is really not the point; they are going to be here. That there will be thou- sands of young people mostly students unemployed this summer is recognized by every government department or social agency that happens to be concerned with this sort of thing. And they will be on the move, right across this big country of ours. Where they will be going, or why they are going there, isn't the point. Tho reason doesn't have to be any more pro- found than that, for many of thorn, there won't be anything better to do. So rather than sit around the old home town, doing nothing, they'll travel and not by Air Canada, either. With thousands of young pcqile roaming the country, there's bound (o be a steady stream of them through Lcthbridge. After all, we've done our level best to promote Highway 3 as the Southern TransCanada route, so shouldn't be surprised if Leth- bridge gels its share. So where do you want them to eat and sleep? Would you like a repetition of the situation that existed in the "dirty when thou- sands of hungry men were on the move across the country, begging or stealing their food, sleeping in parks, in old aban- doned buildings, or simply in convenient doorways? Is that the deal you think is good enough for today's youth? I realize that there are a lot of people who think that it is, who believe that any- one who hasn't a job should'go on welfare, go to jail, or just stay out of sight. Any- way, they shouldn't come .wherever "here" happens to be in the minds of people who think that way. If you happen to be one of those, you're going to be upset this summer, because they're going to be here, right here in (Oldman) Kiver City. Not many of them as a matter of fact. With all its glories, Lethbridge is still not the crossroads of the world, or even of Canada. We don't have to contemplate a mass invasion of thousands of homeless hippies or hitchhikers; probably, there will never be more than a dozen or so mobile youngsters in town on any one night. But those who are here will need to eat and sleep and they will. The only meaning- ful question is Acd the only sen- sible answer, by any realistic standard, is a centre such as that being proposed. The Voice Of One -By DR. FRANK S. MORtEY The Art Of Being Up-To-Bate rpHE CARDINAL sin today is not to be up-to-date, to be behind the times. "You're not is the constant gibe hurled at anyone who attacks obscenity and pornography. Yet everywhere primiti- vism and atavism masquerade in the name of modernity. "Be modern approve homosexuality." But does not sodomy come from the town of Sodom which, as the biblical story of Genesis relates, was destroyed by God for this very wickedness? "Be and the artist goes back to the cave for his models. "Be and the musician goes back to the jungle and the percussive beat of ram-toms. "Be and uni- versity students burn incense, practise witchcraft and voodooism, and all kinds of mumbo-jumbo performed by savage med- icine men. "Wife-swapping" is not new, but was known in aboriginal societies such as Australia and ancient Tibet. The ancient Britons practised it and, indeed, it was popular in 1716 at the Court of Vienna. Polygamy or polygyny, of course, has been too common in ancient societies to require comment. It survives until today in Africa. King Mtessa of Uganda and the King'bf Loanga are said to have had wives. "Be and in obedience to the commandment men and women go naked and1 perform sex acts on the stage as they did in ancient Rome. Gibbon tells how the Emperor Commodus shocked the Ro- man populace by bringing the bestiality of the palace to the Roman stage. Astrology has a great vogue today, re- miniscent of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece back in the sixth and seventh centuries B.C. Astrology became a fine art with the Greeks by the third century B.C. In seventeenth and eighteenth century France every general, businessman, and monarch had at least one astrologer. With the rise of science, it was presumed in the nineteenth century A.D. that astrology was an exploded, out-dated superstition. What is new and modem about the use of psychedylic drugs? "Hashish" or "Hasheeth" is an Arabic word for "dried from which cornea the English word, "assassin." Hemp (cannabis) was smoked or eaten as bhang, charas, or ghanga in ancient India, as kit in north Africa, and as marijuana in the western world. All ancient civilizations used drugs. What's new about violence for the saka of violence? The other day, for example, a lovely, historic old church was blown up senselessly in Bermuda. Advocates of bombings are increasing. But it was back about 1850 that anarchism was at its height through Europe, with men like Mi- kail Bakunm, who declared that violenca was an end in itself "The passion for destruction is also a creative passion." Pierre Proudhon declared, "I do not be- lieve in constitutions and laws We need something different, inspiration, life, a new lawless and therefore free world." The assassins of that time derided then- judges also and went to the scaffold with the ritual cry "Long live anarchy! Long live The effort to free human relations from all legal restraints, to re- vert to a state of nature, to knock away all social taboos and external codes, to live a life of license and instinct, were popular ideas against which Paul warred with the Gnostics, the Catholics wilh the Waldensians, the Lutherans with the Ana- baptists and the Canadians against the Doukhobors. Communism, said Khrushchev, is the "wave of the future." Now what is new about this either as a political totalitaria- nism or economic method of mass produc- tion and distribution? One finds it. in an- cient tribalism. Did not Naboth go to his death for defying King Ahab who wished to expropriate his farm? Automatic, mate- rialist evolution was taught b.1 Greek scientists hundreds of years before Christ. Materialism is not new. Drug control, decency on the stage, monogamy, gracious family life, democ- racy, liberty, and individualism, these things are new. Nationalism and tribalism are not new, but world citizenship is. The idea of extermination at the grave is not new, but eternal Me is. Don't let them fool you! Worst Day Of The Week By Doug Walker THE better part of a year I was But we were afraid of Joe so we mopped on the staff of the Vancouver Central YMCA as Youth Division Secretary. Part of my responsibilities included assisting the Boys' Division Secretary with the Sat- urday program. It was always a horrendous experience. Millions of kids had to be kept shuffling through a four part program of gym, swim, hobbies and movie. Then they had to be entertained while they ate their lunch. Finally they could be shooed out of the building. Sometimes it took until after- noon to ferret out the last urchin and send him packing. Then we had to clear, up the place. One would think the building superintendent would attend to that phase the operation. up the pools of pop, retrieved sandwiches out of the piano and hot dogs from the chandeliers, and burned mountains of pa- per in the fireplace. What with Joe glowering at us for letting kids into the place; parents phoning to reprimand us for letting their Johnnies go home barefoot in winter; and the utter bedlam, it is not surprising that the Boys' Secretary began to develop migraine headaches on tile weekends. Facing Satur- day alone a few times cured me of all aspirations to make a career in the Y. I haven't had the courage to put my head in UK door of a YMCA on a Saturday morning in more uiia 23 years. Ken Spence seems to bo made of sterner stuff.