Lunch & Events
"The Fragility of Nations "
The Fragility of Nations examines the security of the Canadian nation from the perspective of a first generation Canadian whose Mennonite parents met in Canada. Both had escaped from Ukraine after suffering dispossession, torture, and designation for death by the Russian communists.
Extensive travel and study in Ukraine and Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union led to concern for the Canadian nation. Clearly, pacifism and appeasement contributed to the fall of the nation the Mennonites had built within Ukraine. Current events suggest that despite incredibly improved education, social services, physical and mental health capabilities human nature simply has not changed significantly. And, we need to cherish the good but it is time for Canada to reduce our reliance on neighbours and add a meaningful defense against the evil degradation that leads to the decline of nations.
Jim was raised on a farm in southern Alberta. During high school he began working in construction, railways, and the oil fields. He attended the University of Alberta married Gayl and graduated with a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering in 1960.
In 2004, Jim fully retired and, with Gayl, began a walk in their ancestor’s footsteps. This took ten wonderful years of travelling much of the world, exploring, and finding relatives and friends to learn how our ancestors lived. Jim took many pictures and wrote voluminous field notes which ended up in presentations, collaboration on a book and many interesting communications and friendships around the world.
In between, Jim had an interesting career in the steelmaking industry, highlighted by his involvement during the 1960s in commercializing a revolutionary steelmaking process. Recycling steel scrap using a process that consumed eighty percent less energy than traditional coal and iron ore-based steelmaking was highly successful. The process became known as a minimill and by 1990, was producing half the steel in North America plus our land was cleaned of all obsolete steel products like cars, refrigerators, etc.
Jim’s career followed a goal of raising a family in many parts of Canada and included Hamilton, Edmonton, Camrose, Newfoundland, Quebec and back to Edmonton.
During a five year stay in Quebec, Jim learned enough French to function in business, chair one of the first Francisation Committees and presented a brief to the Quebec Legislature on proposed language legislation.
Back home in Edmonton in 1986, Jim managed western operations and when that first minimill was incorporated as Alta Steel Jim became President and CEO. He campaigned for recognition that Edmonton had given birth to the revolutionary minimill. In in 2001, the year he retired, the American Society for Metals recognized the minimill process as a major advancement in steel-making technology.
Following retirement, Jim worked as a consultant for heavy industry in the capital region and served as Director and President of the Royal Mayfair Golf Club.