Thursday, January 31, 2013


I came to BC in 1964 and found, to my great delight, that there was a paper route up for grabs. I was 15 years old and needed a job and money. In those days, there was no allowance or any handouts from 'Daddy'. I had had a paper route in Saskatchewan, delivering the weekend edition of some big paper from back East.  It netted me about $5 a month, more than enough for spending, and starting a healthy savings account.
This new "Province" newspaper route was a daily route, except Sundays, and the catch was that the last paper had to be delivered by 7 am. That meant getting up at 5 am and getting back home just after 7 am. There was a probation period and I did not want to let down the company, the customers, or my cousin who had outgrown the route and just handed it to me by his strong recommendation to the Vancouver Province.
I purchased a reliable used bike with my savings, installed a huge rack on the rear fender, with a 'trap', and I was off. I started in the summer months so the early mornings were bright and sunny, a good chance to familiarize myself with the 110 addresses. 
The winter came and the darkness and rain settled in. It was then that I had to develop some endurance and also some techniques to keep the papers from getting soaked. 
The route supervisors were vigilant and after some time had passed, I began to be recognised for my dedication and hard work. The merit was based on accurate scheduling, collection, and recruiting new customers. After a year, I had grown the route to more than 125 paying customers and it was netting me about $25 per month. 
The biggest bonus for me was that I had all my evenings free because it was after I got home from my route that I would do my homework, before breakfast and heading off for school. There was also a few extra papers every day, so my dad got his newspaper to read with his breakfast every morning. 
The company treated us like the young independent businessmen that we were. It was great training. I had some adventures and many good memories to recall.    

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