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Saint John in Saint John County, New Brunswick — The Canadian Atlantic
 

K. C. Irving

 
 
K. C. Irving Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
1. K. C. Irving Marker
Inscription.  
English:
Kenneth Colin Irving, known to everyone as K.C., spent most of his life in New Brunswick. He was born (March 1899) in Buctouche, Kent County where his father owned various businesses. From his earliest years it was obvious K.C. was a unique person who knew how to accomplish goals.

In 1998 Maclean's Magazine produced a list of the most significant Canadians in the 20th century. K.C. Irving, who had died in 1992 at age 93, was chosen to lead the list. "Canada is famous for its Entrepreneurs. The greatest of them all, Maclean's believes, was the man who built an empire in New Brunswick ...."

After returning from the First World War where at 18 he was in the Royal Flying Corps, K. C. worked for a short time in his father's general store in Buctouche. He had a gift for fixing engines and he enjoyed working with people. His focus was always on new opportunities. By the early 1920s K.C. was operating a profitable gas station and Ford dealership in Buctouche but the small community could not hold him for long.

In 1925 Saint John, the province's major city with a year-‘round
K. C. Irving Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
2. K. C. Irving Marker (wide view)
port, became K.C.'s home and the base for his expanding operations. The city was where he and his wife Harriet chose to raise their young family. In the early days K.C. was known to leave his dinner to help a customer fix a broken furnace. When travelling, K.C. frequently stopped along the side of a highway to see if he could help a motorist stranded with engine trouble.

Irving saw possibilities where others had failed. He had a remarkable ability to fix businesses abandoned by others. Under K.C.'s direction they became profitable.

“Irving clearly shaped the economic destiny of New Brunswick, and, to a slightly lesser extent, the Maritimes," said author J. L. Granatstein who wrote the Maclean's article that named K.C. Irving as Canada's greatest entrepreneur.

During his lifetime K.C. employed thousands of New Brunswickers. He respected those working in his many operations. K.C. was known for stopping to talk to any worker, asking questions and suggesting possible solutions. He told his sons, "We can run a business and employ people, that's what we can do."

K.C. Irving's vision and success has been recognized many times. In a Maclean's 1998 article, The Most Important Canadians in History, J. L. Granatstein said of K.C., "He appeared to grasp instinctively the benefits of vertical integration… It was an astonishing
K. C. Irving Statue image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 15, 2019
3. K. C. Irving Statue
empire that Irving built, eventually encompassing more than 300 companies with interests across the Maritimes and into the northeastern United States."

Irving employees respected and admired the man who, like them, was a New Brunswicker at heart. K.C. Irving died in 1992 at age 93.

It was seven years later that Maclean's selected K.C. Irving as the most outstanding Canadian businessman of the 20th century.

Français:
Kenneth Colin Irving, connu de tous comme K.C., a passé la plus grande partie de sa vie au Nouveau-Brunswick. Il est né en mars 1899 à Bouctouche, dans le comté de Kent, où son père possédait plusieurs entreprises. Dès son plus jeune âge K.C. a démontré qu'il était une personne unique qui savait comment atteindre ses objectifs.

En 1998, le Magazine Maclean's publia une liste des Canadiens les plus importants du XXe siècle. K.C. Irving, qui était mort en 1992 à l'âge de 93 ans, fut choisi pour figurer en tête de la liste. « Le Canada est renommé pour ses entrepreneurs. Maclean's pense que le plus grand de tous était l'homme qui a bâti un empire au Nouveau-Brunswick... »

À son retour de la Première Guerre mondiale, durant laquelle il avait servi, à l'âge de 18 ans, au sein du Royal Flying Corps, K. C. travailla pendant une courte période dans le magasin général de son père à Bouctouche.
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Il avait un don pour réparer les moteurs et il adorait travailler avec les gens. Il était toujours à l'affût de nouvelles possibilités. Au début des années 1920, K.C. exploitait à Bouctouche une station-service rentable, également concession Ford, mais la petite collectivité ne put le retenir plus longtemps.

En 1925, Saint John, la plus grande ville de la province, avec un port ouvert toute l'année, devint le domicile de K.C. et sa base pour développer ses activités. Lui et sa femme Harriet choisirent Saint John pour élever leur jeune famille. Au début, K.C. pouvait interrompre un repas afin d'aider un client à réparer une chaudière en panne. Durant ses déplacements, K.C. s'arrêtait souvent au bord de la route pour aider des automobilistes en panne en raison d'ennuis de moteur.

Irving vit des possibilités là où d'autres avaient échoué. Il avait une capacité remarquable pour redresser des affaires abandonnées par d'autres. Sous la direction de K.C., elles devenaient rentables.

« Irving a clairement façonné le destin économique du Nouveau-Brunswick, et, dans une moindre mesure, celui des Maritimes », a écrit l'écrivain J. L. Granatstein dans l'article de Maclean's qui a nommé K.C. Irving plus grand entrepreneur du Canada.

Durant toute sa vie, K.C. a employé des milliers de Néo-Brunswickois. Il avait du respect pour ceux qui travaillaient
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dans ses nombreuses entreprises. K.C. s'arrêtait et parlait avec ses employés, posant des questions et suggérant des solutions possibles. Il a dit à ses fils : « Nous savons diriger une entreprise et employer des gens, c'est ce que nous savons faire. »

La vision et la réussite de K.C. Irving ont été reconnues à plusieurs occasions. Dans un article de Maclean's paru en 1998, Les 100 Plus Grands Canadiens de L’histoire, J. L. Granatstein a écrit de K.C. : « il semblait comprendre instinctivement les avantages de l'intégration verticale... Irving a bâti un empire étonnant qui englobait à la fin plus de 300 sociétés avec des intérêts dans toutes les Maritimes et dans le Nord-Est des États-Unis. »

Les employés d'Irving respectaient et admiraient l'homme qui, comme eux, était un Néo-Brunswickois dans l'âme. K.C. Irving est décédé en 1992 à l'âge de 93 ans.

Sept ans plus tard, Maclean's sélectionna K.C. Irving comme l'homme d'affaires canadien le plus remarquable du XXe siècle.
 
Erected by J.D. Irving, Limited.
 
Location. 45° 15.411′ N, 66° 5.409′ W. Marker is in Saint John, New Brunswick, in Saint John County. Marker can be reached from Lancaster Avenue 0.2 kilometers from Bridge Road (New Brunswick Route 100), on the left when traveling east. Marker is located near the walking path in Wolastoq Park, at the center of the park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 211 Lancaster Avenue, Saint John, New Brunswick E2M 2K8, Canada. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William Kilby Reynolds (within shouting distance of this marker); Simonds, Hazen and White (within shouting distance of this marker); Benedict Arnold (within shouting distance of this marker); John Robertson (within shouting distance of this marker); Robert Foulis (within shouting distance of this marker); Colonel Gabriel G. Ludlow (within shouting distance of this marker); Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Gorman (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Saint John.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Wolastoq Park
 
Also see . . .  Kenneth Colin Irving. On the death of his father in 1933, Irving acquired J.D. Irving Ltd, the family lumber business, and in 1938 he bought Canada Veneers, which thrived on wartime sales to become the world's largest supplier of aircraft veneers. The growth of this company led to the acquisition of the New Brunswick Railway Co for its huge tracts of timberland. With the establishment in 1951 of Irving Pulp and Paper Ltd, Irving dominated the NB timber industry. By then, he also owned a number of Maritime newspapers. (Submitted on November 4, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 

More. Search the internet for K. C. Irving.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 31, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 4, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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