Jim Wright retires from Manitoulin Transport after 43 years

Jim Wright, right, is presented with a gift by Doug Smith on behalf of Manitoulin Transport. The recognition was bestowed on Mr. Wright as he has retired after having worked for 43 years with Manitoulin Transport.

GORE BAY—A just-retired Manitoulin Transport employee made it clear in an interview with The Recorder last Friday why he has enjoyed his 43 years with the company.

“I’ve enjoyed it immensely,” said Jim Wright, last Friday. “One of the things I liked the best about it is that things were also changing, and the company has continued to expand over the years. I like always changing and expanding more and more. You could never get complacent with all the changes constantly being made, with new terminals being built or other companies being acquired.”

Mr. Wright spent the past five months with the company as its customer service manager. However, the bulk of his career, 37 years, had been as an accounts manager.

“I’ve definitely seen a lot of changes and growth over the years,” said Mr. Wright. “I think when the company merged with Lakehead and then Jet Transport in the early 1990s, these were two of the biggest changes as it expanded our service area, especially in Alberta. We changed from being an Ontario-based company to national. And it gave us six more truck terminals to operate. And the growth  through several more strategic acquisitions has been made since then.”

“I’ve enjoyed working with everyone here over the years,” said Mr. Wright, who added, “I wish I had kept track of all the people I’ve worked with over the years,” noting it would total at least 100.

Prior to his career at Manitoulin Transport, “I had been working at Inco-Vale for six months underground, but in 1975 I couldn’t see the sense of a strike (that was taking place) continuing,” said Mr. Wright.  And in 1978 the company employees held another eight-month strike, “so I knew then that the decision I made in 1975 was the right decision to leave (and work at Manitoulin Transport).”

Mr. Wright, who is originally from Gore Bay, said with his retirement, “I have a grandson who I will be seeing more of. And I like to hunt and the outdoors. And our son is in Ottawa so now I’ll be able to visit him more often.”