Girouxville Co-op celebrates 75 years

The first co-op store in Girouxville (date of photo is unknown).

Mac Olsen

This year marks 75 years for the Girouxville Co-op being in business.

The co-op held a customer appreciation lunch on June 21 to mark the anniversary, which included hamburgers and cake. The certificate of incorporation was issued on June 17, 1942.

Found here is some text of the history of the Girouxville Co-op, taken from ‘Reflexions’, Volume III, the ‘Girouxville-Culp’ history, published in 1990. Also found here are several photos of the co-op and its bulk plant over the years.

Girouxville General Co-operative Association Ltd.

The Girouxville General Co-operative Association began its operation in 1942, with the approval of the provincial government under a certificate of incorporation.

However, the first application was presented in 1939. In fact, the registration document bears the date of June 13, 1942 and the certificate was issued on the 17th of the same month.

The names of the first co-operators who signed the memorandum read as follows:

The first weeks of business were carried on in a small garage located just east of the hotel. Oliva Landry was then the manager. Shortly after the Board of Directors decided to move the inventory and operations to a building situated on main street. This was the property of Jos (Pitou) Tremblay who brought it back from the association in 1949. From 1943 to 1946 Jean St. Arnaud was the manager. He was succeeded by Philippe Moquin.

At the annual meeting, in 1949, all members were in favor of building a new store. The first of July 1949 Philippe Moquin left the employ of the association was replaced by Roland Deslauriers as manager. In August construction began – a one-storey, no column space of 50’ x 70’. By nightfall on January 4, 1950 all the material, inventory, books, safe and furniture had been moved to the new site.

In 1952 a warehouse of 30’ x 70’ was added to the northside of the store. From year to year some improvements took place.

Around 1963, the Board of Directors judged it necessary to have a general renovation, and for about four months everything was topsy-turvy in the store. The customers took it with good grace. In 1970, a coat of stucco was applied to the outside, and the front received a new façade.

On February 25, 1975 the directors and personnel of the association gathered in the church basement to enjoy a delicious supper prepared by Marie-Louise Mackell and Reine Chauvin. The occasion was the presentation of a gold Acutron watch to Co-op manager, Roland Deslauriers, in appreciation for his many years of service. Roland started as a clerk in 1943, but soon after became manager.

Since 1979, Claude Girard has been manager of the association. Gradual changes and improvements are continuously noted. In 1985 a computer was purchased for the office. A bake shop was also opened, but closed indefinitely in 1987.

A ramp was built in 1988 and a butcher shop was added. The equipment was purchased from Raymond Dallaire.

Since its inception in 1942, the association has returned to its members a considerable amount in the form of dividends in cash or kind.

Board of Directors – January 1990
A. Michel Sylvain – president
B. Doris Ouellette – vice-president
C. Lina Rochon – secretary
D. Claude Anctil
E. Denis Boisvert
F. Raymond Begin
G. Rene Blanchette

Bulk Petroleum Station

It was in the early 1950’s that the Board of Directors of the Girouxville Co-operative Association decided that a Bulk Petroleum Station would serve a good purpose in our region. After three years of negotiations Girouxville managed to have a Co-op Petroleum Service supplied by U.F.A.

In 1956, under the management of Georges Lanctot, the association offered its services to the agricultural population in our district.

After 14 years, the association had to look for a new larger site to accommodate its growing business. It was then that the actual service station was built. At the same time larger storage tanks were installed. A new GMC truck was purchased. The old bulk plant site was sold to Paul Dumont.

In 1971, Gerard Blanchette became the service station manager while Raymond Houle was hired as fuel manager.

In 1972, fire razed the storage shed containing the oil, grease and anti-freeze. One of the 5,000 gallon tanks exploded under the heat. Luckily the garage itself was not damaged. Shortly after, a metal building was erected to replace the one destroyed by fire.

From 1973 to 1981, Eugene Dumont was manager of the Bulk Station. He was succeeded by Yves Mercier in 1981 and by Russel Hibbert in 1983. It was in 1984 that Eugene Dumont resumed the position of manager.

The service station continued to modernize. It was now possible to fill-up propane powered engines. A pick-up truck was purchased as a service vehicle. A three- compartment fuel tank was installed and the pump area was paved.

In March 1988, a tragic accident at the bulk, the manager, Eugene Dumont, passed away, asphyxiated. Richard Aubin is hired as the new manager.

It is evident that several managers have contributed to the successful development of this enterprise. In addition to the names already mentioned, these should be listed: Henri Giroux, Adrien Trudeau and Aimé Laverdière.

The agricultural population of this district is grateful to the instigators of this enterprise and intend to support it heartily.

The first bulk plant in Girouxville (date of photo is unknown).
Pictured above is the certificate of incorporation for the creation of the Girouxville Co-op, which came on June 17, 1942.
The Girouxville Co-op held a customer appreciation lunch on June 21 to mark their 75th anniversary. Pictured above, left-right, are Maureen Prellwitz, the office manager; Mike Lambert, the new general manager; and Kim Girard, the petroleum supervisor.

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