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About Kevin Jesmer

Kevin Jesmer has been a member since July 10th 2011, and has created 2458 posts from scratch.

Kevin Jesmer's Bio

I am a originally from Canada. I am a lay person in the church and I work as nurse. I study the Bible with a few people. My wife, Julie and myself had the pleasure of raising five wonderful children in DeKalb. And now we can enjoy seeing them blossom as adults.

Kevin Jesmer's Websites

This Author's Website is http://christianfamilyonchristsmission.com/

Kevin Jesmer's Recent Articles

INCO in Indonesia

Thompsonites in Indonesia: I remember about the growth of nickel production in Indonesia. I was aware of some people who moved from Thompson to Indonesia to work. But there was not much information about it. When I heard about a person moving to work a mine in Indonesia, I would think, “What does that even mean?” I had no clue. What did the mine look like? How much would they get paid? Would their family go with them? Would they live on a compound? I tried to look up some pictures from Google. It does not look like an easy place to live and work. Does anyone know of anyone that moved from INCO Thompson to INCO Indonesia? What were they getting paid there? Does anyone have interesting stories about life in Indonesia INCO?

http://www.vale.com/indonesia/en/aboutvale/history/pages/default.aspx

2nd and 3rd generation page

INCO

Exploration team

INCO in Indonesia

Thompsonites in Indonesia: I remember about the growth of nickel production in Indonesia. I was aware of some people who moved from Thompson to Indonesia to work. But there was not much information about it. When I heard about a person moving to work a mine in Indonesia, I would think, “What does that even mean?” I had no clue. What did the mine look like? How much would they get paid? Would their family go with them? Would they live on a compound? I tried to look up some pictures from Google. It does not look like an easy place to live and work. Does anyone know of anyone that moved from INCO Thompson to INCO Indonesia? What were they getting paid there? Does anyone have interesting stories about life in Indonesia INCO?

http://www.vale.com/indonesia/en/aboutvale/history/pages/default.aspx

2nd and 3rd generation page

INCO

Exploration team

Smook Brothers

2nd and 3rd Generation page

Businesses

Smook Brothers:  There is another company that helped to build up the infrastructure of Thompson… Smook Brothers. This company, far as I know, is an excavating, heavy equipment company that contributes to construction works. When I graduated from high school, people were wondering what they were going to study in university. But there were some who dreamt of being heavy equipment operators instead. One of my friends ventured into the world of heavy equipment and semi-truck driving. He learned his craft at Smook Brothers. His name is Robert Doorenbos. He recently posted some pics of himself in the 1980’s. He has been very successful in the path he has chosen. And so, this post says, “cheers” to Smook Brothers and the contribution they made to build up Thompson and the surrounding region. Did anyone out their work for Smook Brothers? Any more background info? There was some history of the company on the internet. I think they have a gravel pit on down the road from Queensbay, along the river.

Volker Beckman’s design for Smook brothers.

Demolition Derby

2nd and 3rd Generation page

Stock car races

Demolition Derby: Who doesn’t love a demolition derby? It is good to see the cars ram each other from the front and the back. One by one they drop out of the competition. It is nearly at the end. There are only two cars moving. Then suddenly a third car, at the side of the track, that earlier had been rendered helpless, bursts to life and tries to ram the surprised car. The crowd erupts into cheers for the resurrected underdog that seems to be poised to win the battle. Such was the demolition derby.

There were a number of demolition derbies in the 80’s. Apparently the last demolition derby was 30 years ago, around 1992. (According to Roland Becker’s post). He wrote, “ Smook’s company always did a lot for the stock car club, back in the day. And that’s why when I would build demo derby cars, I gave the one in the photo to Smooks. It was the second last car moving, and then the transmission packed it in

“THOMPSON SPEEDWAY track was originally opened as a 3/8 mile dirt track that was a fairly flat track. Racing consisted at the start of street stocks and hobby stocks that ran regularly on a Sunday afternoon. The racing was organized by the Thompson Stock Car Club. In the early 90s, the track was reconfigured to a slightly smaller track with high banking which saw racing run wide open. Whilst continuing with stock car racing, they also added late model racing to the schedule as well. Unfortunately, the track was closed down and taken down to build a motocross track.”

Lost Tracks: https://www.facebook.com/1798898647093064/posts/thompson-speedwaythe-track-was-originally-opened-as-a-38-mile-dirt-track-that-wa/2620130471636540/

“Stock car club fizzled out mid-nineties. Great memories though!! Spent a lot of summers with my parents out there. watering the track the day before race day with my dad, hanging out with my mom in the tower counting laps for each car and working the concession stand getting paid in pop and all the junk food.” – Stephanie Ripley

“That was so much fun going to the races each weekend. Our hair was like straw by the end of the day , haha” – Angie Korman Hebert

There as a demolition derby this month. The first one in 30 years.

“We are trying to have one again this year. It’ll probably be out at the mud bogs during the September long weekend. Is anyone interested in competing? …..(By the way, we haven’t had a demolition derby in 30 years, but we had one yesterday. My son drove #00)”- Roland Becker



Queen of Hearts

2nd and 3rd Generation

Plaza

The Historical Queen of Hearts:

Asplund Music was before the Queen of Hearts. One of the original owners were local business people, Bill and Wilma Harrison. Wilma and Bill arrived in Thompson in 1961, just in time for the grand opening of the Thompson Plaza.  They viewed the town as a great opportunity for developing new businesses.  Their restaurant, in the Plaza, was named ‘Sinclair’s’ and later changed to ‘Siggies.’  Over the years they opened other food services: 1963 – Tom Thumb, a children’s clothing; 1970 – A&W Franchise; Queen of Hearts, a stereo equipment shop; Gondola Pizza; Camera Corner. (Lisa Dawn Strate).

“Mike Smith, my dad, was a co-owner with Terry Nemez and Bill Harrison. Eventually dad bought out Bill and Terry and got Mike Dillman involved for a few years. I was never the salesman. My dad was, so I got into mechanics for the army then refrigeration for Northgate in Thompson.”  Ted Watt

“That was my dad’s store. His name is Terry, and the co-owners name was Gary. My grandfather Bill Harrison was the original owner. He sold it to my dad and Gary in the early 80’s.” Amaris Nemez

Manager Garry Watt ran the Queen of Hearts. Ted was his son. “My mom and dad moved to Thompson in 1970, when I was 6 or 7 months old, from Flin Flon, where he worked for Simpson Sears in that mall. Shortly after he got a partnership with Bill Harrison and ran The Queen of Hearts until he passed in 98.” (Ted Watt) Gary Watt was married to Marg. She worked as a female guard at the RCMP Detachment. They lived on Sauger Crescent.

Gary was a very amiable person. He established relationships with the customers. People would come into the store just to talk with him. Gary trusted the customers. One man was a delivering and setting up stereos for Queen of Hearts. He stated, “Gary was a great guy. He sold me a nice pair of PSB speakers back in the 90’s and said to take them home and I could pay him on payday. I always liked going in there to talk and look, even if I wasn’t buying. It was a very welcoming business.”  “This was a good place I still have records I bought there it was good sometimes when it wasn’t real busy to just stop by and bs with Gary.” Graham Wiscombe. What happened to Gary? Gary died suddenly of a massive stroke in his 50’s. Marg also had a stroke a few years later and eventually moved to Regina where their son Ted lived.

Records/tapes/cd’s: People bought many records and tapes, and then CD’s, along with the equipment. They carried the latest selections in LP and 8 track and cassettes. The records were displayed so that eyes could brows the selection. “They had good quality stuff and good record selection”. It was nice to have records with all the lyrics for the songs and photos and art pics and guidebook for the album. (Patti Scoles).

Saturday Night Special on the radio: Saturday night special was on the radio on Saturday nights. You could win a record from the Queen of hearts

Guitar sales. Some people bought their first real instruments at Queen of Hearts. One man bought a Charvel bass. Others bought acoustic guitars. Another bought and electric guitar and a harmony explorer. My parents bought us a Yamaha acoustic guitar in 1977. I still have it. (see the picture).

Guitar Lessons by tape: I took a few lessons for acoustic guitar in 1978. Queen of Hearts had a relationship with Dorr Music in Winnipeg. I would get cassette tapes and respond to the lesson. I still have the cassettes. It has my voice when was in grade seven. (see picture).

Electronics: Queen of Hearts was a great place for quality electronics. They were authorized dealers for Bose, Toshiba, Pioneer, Sae, Yamaha, Ultraliner, Yamaha and Lowery organs. There were Harmon Cardon dual cassette decks, and Pioneer turntables. They sold professional sound equipment for bands there, like Bose pro speakers, Peavey Sound boards and amps. People would buy powerful stereo systems with the watts to keep their neighbors on their toes.  It was nothing but the best from Gary at Queen of Hearts!

“I remember my parents had one of these in our basement. Upstairs, surprisingly, my dad had a Yamaha system with Bose speakers. I never thought of my dad as an audiophile. He had a massive set of records from classical to early country. His country albums were fairly good old bands. He bought his stereo from Terry Nemez at the Queen of Hearts. I was with my dad when he bought his new stereo. I remember Terry telling my dad to pick out a bunch of records. Terry also tossed in some records that would highlight the system.” – Darcy Brady

Video Arcade in the back: People loved hanging out there playing pinball in the arcade. They spent a lot of quarters there. Some kids spent $10 worth of quarters there. “It was a really great place. I sat behind the counter giving out quarters. The arcade made it next level!” Amaris Nemez🤣” I am surprised about how many people have vivid memories of time spent there. I did not even know that there was an arcade there, and I loved playing video arcade games. I hung out at the Pieces of Eight. Parents would go shopping at Shop Easy and their kids would be at the arcade. Some young people evens skipped classes to play. (I skipped a class here and there to play video games). Things got a little rough in the arcade at times. One man stated, “In grade 8, took a beating because I wouldn’t get off Double Dragon, it was worth it.” Another stated, “I got in 1 hell of a scrap in there. I didn’t even get kicked out lol”.

Some games were Double Dragon, PacMan and Ms PacMan, Space Invaders, Tempest, and Mortal Kombat. Looking back on these games, it is hard to believe that kids went nuts over these games. The graphics are rudimentary. But it was all new and people were mesmerized by the new video game technology.

Model Car Sales: Apparently, in the late 60’s, they sold model cars and had a model car contest. There were contests and the best model cars were displayed in the glass case in the window by the entrance for about a week. “They even had CESM TV film interviews with the winners”. (Roland Becker)

Sponsoring Stock Cars: Queen of Hearts was also one of the sponsors for Ken Kolada’s stock car.

Notable Thompsonites who worked there were Terry Nemeth, Ronald Strynadka (setting up stereos), Terry Nemez, Amaris Nemez, Lynn Siegersma (rolling quarters), Brent Thompson (rolling quarters), Shelley Ruenholl.

(Thank you all for your contributions to this write up in past posts).

16/07/1970 07/16/1970 16 July 1970 Interior of Hi-Fi Stereo store, 108 St. Stephens Green, Dublin. Image shows the shop cointer (desk) and a range of the radios, recorders, players and speakers (amplifiers) the store sold. Brands include Sony ad National.

The Purple Raven

2nd and 3rd Generation

Plaza

The Purple Raven. This was a “must go” clothing store for Thompson youth in the 70s and early 80’s. It was in the plaza. I spent a lot of money there. I bought brown cord overalls, Jordache jeans, Sergio Valente jeans and jackets, and white jeans. It felt good to buy things that I thought were fashionable. I couldn’t wait to wears them to the high school. Actually, designer jeans were fashionable everywhere. They are selling vintage 1980 Jordache jeans for $100 today! Did anyone else fell the same way about wearing your new clothing purchases to school the next day? Did you work there? What is the story about the Purple Raven?

M n M’s Ice Cream Parlour

2nd and 3rd Generation page

The M ‘n M Ice Cream Parlour. M n M stood for Mac & Marlyn. This quaint ice cream parlor was located along a sidewalk that went into Martin Bay from Beaver Crescent. It was known by several names and different times; the Cornerstore, the Malt Shop, the M & M’s Ice Cream Shoppe. It was in a residential area.  It had black and white striped chairs, and big cones on the outside of the building. They featured banana split supremes, sundae supremes of all flavors, plain and old fashion milkshakes, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck sundaes, as well as hard and soft ice cream. If it was your birthday, you would get a free Sunday that looked like a mouse. The hot fudge sundaes were delicious as well as the coke floats. And then there were the fudge pops n chocolate covered bananas with peanuts. The Cornestore was known for its penny candy.

     There was a pinball area in the back of the store. People had fun cheating the pinball machines with slugs and foreign coins that their parents collected. There were other shops around the Ice Cream Parlour. There was the ice cream shop, the pinball joint in back, a pizza place across the hall, and the delivery driver lived in the suite behind ice cream shop. The comic book store was beside it.

Some notable Thompsonites who worked there were Brenda Redman and Denise Boxell. (nee Toporosky)

It is now the Burntwood Baptist Church.

(information derived from former posts)


american ice cream float with soft drink

Shop Easy Grocery Store

2nd and 3rd Generation page

Shop Easy Food Fair: I have been detecting some internet chatter concerning Shop Easy Food Fair in the plaza and thought it was a good time to make a post about the establishment. I remember Shop Easy in the back end of the plaza. It was a quite busy there. Our family rarely shopped there. My mother was the manager of the Thompson Co-op Store and that is where we did most of our shopping. If we shopped anywhere else it was the Safeway store in City Center Mall. Safeway was a little more modern than Shop Easy. My impression of Shop Easy, as a youth, was that it was crowded. It seemed older and little more congested and cluttered and I remember boxes …lots of boxes. The grocery store took different forms over the years. It finally closed down in 2013. Thompson’s resident historian, John Barker, wrote an article about the end of Shop Easy and its affiliate company in Thompson and other areas in the North. I included some excerpts from his article. I also included a picture of the store when it closed. Apparently, the CEO of the company that founded Shop Easy was the one who had the original idea for the plaza back in 1961. Did anyone else make Shop Easy the go to place to shop? Did anyone work there? What is there now?

Shop Easy Foods Info

Like most Thompsonites probably, I divide my grocery shopping between Extra Foods in Thompson Plaza and Canada Safeway in City Centre Mall, supplemented by a few food items from Wal-Mart and Giant Tiger.

That will end when Extra Foods closes its doors in four days on June 23, 2012, right in the middle of Nickel Days, the first time Loblaw Companies Ltd., the corporate owner of Extra Foods, hasn’t operated in Thompson since the opening of Thompson Plaza on Nov. 2, 1961 with Shop Easy Foods, and less than eight months after the $185-million Inco smelter and refinery integrated surface operations opened. The very idea for Thompson Plaza, in fact, belonged to E.D. Cooper of Shop Easy Foods.

By John Barker 6-20-2012

Extra Foods is pulling out of another northern Manitoba market. The store in Thompson will close its doors June 23, becoming the fourth national chain to exit the mining city since last September. Mayor Tim Johnston said he learned of the ‘potential’ of Extra Foods closing early last week. ‘That did come as a surprise and I’m extremely concerned,’ he said. The news comes after Extra Foods closed its Flin Flon store last October, citing poor finances. That move cost the community 45 jobs, 17 of them full-time. Loblaw Companies Ltd., which owns the grocery chain, has denied rumours the store in The Pas is set for closure. In Thompson, Extra Foods is the anchor store of Thompson Plaza, western Canada’s oldest enclosed mall. The Thompson closure mark be the first time the Ontario-based Loblaw, a subsidiary of George Weston Ltd., has not operated in the city since the opening of Thompson Plaza in 1961. The very idea for Thompson Plaza, in fact, belonged to E.D. Cooper of Shop Easy Foods.

_________

For many years the Thompson Plaza grocery store operated as a Shop Easy Foods and OK Economy supermarket, two of Loblaw’s current and former regional and market segment banners in different areas across the country. Other Loblaw banners besides Extra Foods and Shop Easy Foods include No Frills, Valu-Mart, Real Canadian Superstore, Provigo, SaveEasy, Fortinos, Zehrs Markets, Dominion, Red & White Food Stores, Atlantic Superstore, SuperValu, Lucky Dollar Foods, Freshmart, Maxi and Your Independent Grocer.

Loblaw, the largest food retailer in Canada, was started in Toronto in June 1919 by Toronto grocers Theodore Pringle Loblaw and J. Milton Cork. Bread salesman George Weston started George Weston Limited, also in Toronto, in 1882.

The very idea for Thompson Plaza, in fact, belonged to E.D. Cooper of Shop Easy Foods, who had discussed it with Capital Developments Ltd. Marlowe-Yeoman of Vancouver, a company co-founded in 1963 by John B. Lansdell, of Lacombe, Alta., owns Thompson Plaza.

The first commercial tenants of Thompson Plaza included branches of the Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), a T. Eaton Co. or Eaton’s outlet, Simpson-Sears, CESM-TV, CHTM-Radio, Cochrane-Dunlop Hardware, Bata Shoes, F. W. Woolworth Company or Woolworth’s, Shop Easy Foods, Plaza Pharmacy, owned by Florian Soble, and McKinnon Jewellers.

John barker 4-24-2012



Track and Field

1978 track and field race with Thompson participating.

Rd Parker Sports page

RD Parker page

Second and Third Generation page

1978 Track and Field Team

1978 Track and Field Team

Rd Parker Sports page

RD Parker page

Second and Third Generation page

1978 Trojanette Volleyball

Rd Parker Sports page

RD Parker Volleyball page

RD Parker page

Second and Third Generation page