West Fraser Plywood plant general manager Dave Walgren (left) and sawmill manager Jordan Townsend (right) invite everyone to the company’s 60th anniversary celebration Sept. 12 at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.

West Fraser Plywood plant general manager Dave Walgren (left) and sawmill manager Jordan Townsend (right) invite everyone to the company’s 60th anniversary celebration Sept. 12 at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.

West Fraser celebrates 60th anniversary Sept. 12

West Fraser’s two divisions in Williams Lake are celebrating the company’s 60th anniversary with a community event.

West Fraser’s two divisions in Williams Lake are celebrating the company’s 60th anniversary with a community event.

On Saturday, Sept. 12 the company will host a full afternoon of activities for the whole family at the Cariboo Memorial Complex and Boitanio Park.

“It will be an opportunity to celebrate with our employees and the community,” said plywood plant manager Dave Walgren and sawmill manager Jordan Townsend.

Presently there are 175 employees working in the sawmill and 350 working at the plywood plant in Williams Lake.

The anniversary celebration will feature exhibits with tools of the trade and the company’s history, mill tour videos, a bouncy castle, obstacle course, face painting, and a balloon twister. There will also be entertainment with performances by Al Giddens, John Goodwin, the Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers and the Williams Lake Pipe Band.

A complimentary BBQ, a sponsored family swim from 1:30-5 p.m., a sponsored family skate from 12:15-1:45 p.m. on Rink 2, and complimentary cupcakes in the park from 12-4 p.m. will also be part of the celebration.

Throughout the company different celebrations are being planned in different communities, Walgren said.

West Fraser first started in Quesnel in 1955 with the purchase of Two Mile Planer.  In 1957 West Fraser purchased a sawmill and planer from Wright Lumber Co. in Williams Lake which tied into their plans for harvesting operations in an area west of the Fraser River in the Chilcotin.

On May 15, 1958 the name was changed to West Fraser to reflect the operations it had west of the Fraser River.

“So while the company originated in Quesnel, the name of the company originated in Williams Lake,” Walgren added. “Then in 2005 we bought Welwood and the plywood plant came with that.”

On Sept. 15 and 16, West Fraser will be holding mill tours at the sawmill and the plywood plant as well.

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