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With the onset of the Second World War, many employees enlisted to serve their country. In 1941, we began assigning employee numbers for the first time. Jal Abelseth of the Seebe plant had the honour of being employee 00001.
Efforts to preserve rationed foods through the war resulted in a new industry with large cooperative refrigeration systems – or cold storage locker plants – providing many with their first reliable food storage.
Seasonal river flows were a challenge, with high volumes in spring and very low volumes later in the year. In 1941, the company purchased the Cascade hydro plant from the federal government. The plant was dismantled and a new Cascade plant built. As a result, Lake Minnewanka’s water storage allowed for well-managed water flows through the year.
Rural electrification was a focus for the company in the 1940s and into the 1950s. When Calgary Power trucks would arrive, workers were welcomed with food and refreshments and farmers were quick to lend company workers a hand. Often, when the work was done, the locals celebrated with a well-lit party.
Not only did we bring power to Albertans, we brought a new way of life with our rural electrification efforts.