Wyness, Gordon Young

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Wyness, Gordon Young

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  • Gordon Wyness

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Dates of existence

September 16, 1912 - July 7, 2004

History

Gordon Young Wyness was born in Vancouver on September 16, 1912, to Gordon Armstrong and Emma Sanders Wyness. He had two older sisters, Frances Dorothy and Margaret Jean. After living in Vancouver and Winnipeg, in 1918 the family settled in Plenty, Saskatchewan, a town near Saskatoon that served the local farming community and where the elder Gordon Wyness owned the general store from 1918 to 1935.

In 1929, he completed high school and went on to study at the University of Saskatchewan, graduating with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1934. Following graduation, he could not find employment because of the Great Depression. He worked in his father's store until the business was sold in 1935, at which point he moved to Vancouver.

Between June 5 and October 8, 1936, he was employed by Philip M. Monckton, a B.C. Land Surveyor. His degree in mechanical engineering gave him qualifications for this type of work. As far as is known, triangulation surveys in northwestern B.C. were the focus of the work. The survey crew stayed in various locations including Burns Lake, Francoise Lake, Prince George, Quesnel, Pioneer Ranch (owned by the McInnes family and located in North Bulkley near Hazelton), and Vanderhoof areas. From photographs taken by Gordon Wyness, it seems that the crew led by Philip M. Monckton consisted of Jack Lee and Gordon Wyness. Wyness can be easily identified in these photographs due to his height of six feet four and a half inches. Monckton's wife, Lavender Monckton (nee O'Hara), also accompanied the group.

In 1937, after seriously considering becoming a pupil to Land Surveyor Philip Monckton, Wyness found employment in the standards department of Burns and Co. He worked in Burns's Calgary and Edmonton locations before being appointed head of the standards department in Vancouver. His time with Burns gave him both management experience and an understanding of the meat industry.

On May 31, 1941, he married Alison Reid and in June the couple moved to Brownsburg, Quebec, where he had accepted a job with the Dominion Ammunition Division of Canadian Industries Ltd. His positions between 1941 and 1945 were special assistant to the production superintendent, special assistant to the assistant works manager and supervisor of the process and product improvement and rate control department.

As the end of the war approached, Wyness explored other career opportunities. After considering various options, he decided to accept his father-in-law's proposal that he take over the management of James Inglis Reid Ltd., which he did in the fall of 1945. This family ham curing and provisions business was well established in Vancouver. Its slogan 'we hae meat that ye can eat' and reputation for quality products with a Scottish flavour including haggis, was well known in Vancouver and beyond. For example, F. W. Bunton who owned Fraser River Hardware in Prince George regularly ordered cured ham and bacon sent up by Greyhound bus. Wyness managed the business until it closed in 1986.

Gordon Wyness passed away on July 7, 2004.

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Spouse: Alison Reid
Children: Margaret Anne Wyness, Gordon Robert Wyness, Eric Inglis Wyness

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