By Linda C Butler
Told by Charlie Vance
In 1958 I had a store at Snow Lake and I was having problems with the freighting company that delivered my groceries from Wekusko, the railway station about 30 miles away. At that time there was no road out of the community and the trucking company had a franchise for the delivery service so there was no competition. I drove to Wekusko, the railway station, to complain to the operator about the poor service. We argued, and the fellow told me that his manager had said not to listen to Vance’s complaints because it wouldn’t do any good as there was no other trucking company he could use. I was furious and I had to find a solution to the transportation problem as customers depended upon me to deliver their orders in a timely manner.
I went to the bank and arranged for a loan to cover the cost of a truck to haul freight. My brother Steve lived in Winnipeg and I phoned him and asked him to buy a 3-1/2 ton truck for me and drive it to The Pas which he did. At The Pas he went to the wholesaler and they filled the truck with canned goods. Steve then went to the railway and shipped the truck to Wekusko on a flat deck. There was no extra charge for hauling the freight inside the vehicle. He then travelled by passenger train and I met him at Wekusko. He stayed for a short visit in Snow Lake and when the truck arrived he came with me to drive it to town. I then hired a part-time truck driver and started hauling my own freight.
I originally had no intention of going into the freighting business but I felt that I had to quit complaining and find an alternate solution. Sometimes we need a different approach to solve a problem.