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Archival description
University of British Columbia Library Okanagan Special Collections
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S.M. Simpson Ltd.

Series consists of records generated by the business activities Stanley M. Simpson, the corporation he founded (S.M.S. Ltd) and its various subsidiaries between 1906 and 1965, when S.M.S. Ltd. was purchased by Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd.
Series documents the operations of several sawmills and wood manufacturing plants, forestry harvesting operations, and retail outlets owned by S.M.S. Ltd. operating throughout the Central Okanagan, predominantly during the mid twentieth century.
Series includes an extensive collection of artifacts, robust photographic record, and company records.
Series descriptions within this sous fonds continue at 2.1.2.

S.M. Simpson Ltd.

S.M. Simpson Ltd. Photographs

The subseries consists of commissioned commercial photography (portraits, candids, aerials) carried out primarily by three firms (Aero Surveys Ltd., ca. 1948 to 1958; Jennings Ltd. Photography, ca. 1971 to 1974; and Hans Giesen of British Columbia Ltd. ca.1973). None of these firms have a current detectable presence. Other commercial photographers include Jack Cash Photographic Studio, Pope's Studio, Paul Ponich, Kermode Studio, and Ribelin Photography. Of these, only Pope's Studio is clearly still extant. Other photographs originate from the mill(s) proper, and yet others have been collected from third parties' personal photo collections (acquired or copcopied) by Sharron J. Simpson. There are a total of approximately 2,350 images in the form of photographs, scans & photocopies on paper, slide transparencies, negatives, and contact prints documenting mill business (under various nomenclature and ownership) during the years ca. 1910 to 1994, in colour and black & white, with sizes ranging from oversize posters to 10x12cm prints.

S.M. Simpson Ltd.

Crown Zellerbach Canada (Southern Interior Wood Products) Photographs

Subseries consists of photographs created or acquired by Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd. This aggregation consists of photographs concerning the former S.M. Simpson Ltd. mills as well as other mills purchased by Crown Zellerbach Canada at the same time.
The majority of these images are contact prints of aerial photographs from commercial photography studios, commissioned by Crown Zellerbach Canada:
Hans Giesen of British Columbia Ltd.
Jennings Ltd. Photography
Images depict sites, workers, events, processes, and capital projects at Crown Zellerbach mills, including those holdings in Enderby, Armstrong, Falkland, Monte Lake, Lumby, and Kelowna.

Crown Zellerbach Canada

Simpson Covenant Court Case

Series documents Sharron J. Simpson’s activism as the leader of a legal initiative challenging the proposed dissolution of the Simpson Covenant, a restrictive land sale agreement made between her grandfather, Stanley M. Simpson and the City of Kelowna in 1946.
To explain the context of the creation of the covenant: following a mill fire on S.M.S. Ltd. land on what is now Kelowna’s downtown waterfront (around the area known as Manhattan Point) S.M. Simpson sold this land to the City of Kelowna with the understanding that S.M. would sell at a reduced rate, and the City of Kelowna would agree that the land be used for civic or community (not commercial) purposes. In the 2000s, the City of Kelowna moved to dissolve the so-called “Simpson Covenant,” and in response Sharron J. Simpson launched a court challenge to enforce the maintenance of the covenant.
Series contains correspondence, legal documents (including petitions, reasons for judgment, affidavits, civic records and land title office records, City of Kelowna memoranda, press clippings and press releases, appraisal records, etc.).

Simpson, Sharron J.

Doug Cox photography and videography

Series consists of original still and moving photography attributed to Doug Cox from the 1970s through to 2008 in support of his career as author and historian Frequently, Cox’s images form a time-lapse continuation of the older photographs he collected for research purposes. There are many reprisals of people, buildings, landscapes, and subjects first treated in his acquired collections. In addition to this, Cox documents many of his interview subjects photographically, and this series in large part complements his corpus of recorded interviews/oral histories and collected manuscripts.

Notable are objects of documentation are locations, specifically Penticton, Blakeburn, and Coalmont, and themes, specifically ranching, mining, and rodeo.

The VHS tapes include recordings of Penticton infrastructure such as the sanitary landfill, water purification plant, recycling depot, as well as the closure of Nickel Plate Mine’s last day of operation in 1996.

The contents of the La Cie hard drive have not yet been reviewed. Physical photographs have been separated, or are in the process of being separated.

Historical photograph collection

Subseries consists of photographs collected by Doug Cox in service to his historical research and writing. Materials derive from a wide variety of provenancial and subject contexts, which are resolved at the item level.

S.M. Simpson Ltd. sous fonds

Administrative history
The Simpson family fonds is primarily a compilation of the images and records of three corporate entities, (Kelowna Sawmill Ltd., S.M. Simpson Ltd., S & K Ltd.) as well as the records and images of S. M. Simpson’s sole proprietorship between 1913 – 1924, prior to the incorporation of S. M. Simpson Ltd.

The Kelowna Sawmill dates from 1892 when it was first established by Bernard Lequime, who subsequently sold it to David Lloyd-Jones in 1901. Lloyd-Jones had a variety of business partners during the time he owned the sawmill. In 1942, Stanley M. Simpson, the owner of S. M. Simpson Ltd., purchased and operated the Kelowna Sawmill until it was destroyed by fire in 1944. The corporate Kelowna Sawmill Ltd. was maintained and became the retail arm of S. M. Simpson Ltd. until 1956, when retail operations ceased.
Stanley M. Simpson arrived in Kelowna in 1913 and operated a sole proprietorship for the next eleven years (1913-1924) until incorporating S. M. Simpson Ltd. in 1924. During those early years, Simpson operated his business in two different downtown locations, as well as running, or partnering in various portable sawmills throughout the area. His sash and door factory on Abbott Street, manufactured and sold windows and doors, custom furniture, and wooden fruit boxes for the expanding Okanagan fruit and vegetable industry. The business operated out of this location until 1948.
Needing a reliable and accessible source of logs, Stanley Simpson bought land at Manhattan Beach along the lakeshore, in Kelowna’s North End. In 1930, he began constructing a sawmill and box factory and three years later, added a veneer plant to the site.

The Province of British Columbia created Forest Management licenses in 1951, when S. M. Simpson Ltd. was awarded Tree Farm License #9. Needing to diversity, S. M. Simpson Ltd. created S&K Ltd. to add a plywood manufacturing facility to the Manhattan site. It began operations in 1957.

In the following years S. M. Simpson Ltd. purchased other sawmills and logging operations, including Trautman Garraway in Peachland (1955), Peachland Sawmill & Box (1955), McLean Sawmills (1957), Lumby Timber Co (1959), Ferguson Brothers Lumber (1962), Stave Lumber (1962) Eagle Pass Lumber (1963), R&L Lumber (1964).
Stanley Simpson died in 1959. Horace B. Simpson, Stanley’s son, managed S. M. Simpson Ltd. until 1965 when the company was sold to Crown Zellerbach, Canada. A branch operation of the U.S. company, this was the first of a succession of owners, and though the Simpson name was attached to the operations for several years, the family was no longer involved.

In 1965, H.B. Simpson sold S.M.S. Ltd and its several associates and subsidiaries to the Canadian instance of Crown Zellerbach Corporation: Crown Zellerbach Canada. It continued operating as the S.M. Simpson Division of Crown Zellerbach Canada for several years until the name was changed to simply Crown Zellerbach Canada. In 1969, Crown Zellerbach purchased several more sawmills in the region, including Armstrong Sawmills operations in Armstrong, Enderby, Vernon and Falkland, as well as Ponderosa Pine Lumber Co. in 1970.

In 1981 Crown Zellerbach Canada was purchased by Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd. and the entity’s name was changed to Crown Forest, and in 1987 the name changed again to Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd. The company was then subsequently purchased by Riverside Forest Products in 1992. In 2004 Riverside Forest Products was purchased by Tolko Industries Ltd. which operated until 2020.

Scope and content
The sous fonds includes records generated by Stanley Merriam Simpson both before and after the corporate life of S.M. Simpson Ltd., and additionally documents a suite of succeeding companies that assumed the business operations and assets established by S.M. Simpson.

The sous fonds consists of a photographic record that documents the wood processing entity established by S.M. Simpson across iterations of corporate ownership, as well as business records relating to substantial operations, labour relations, safety programs, legal proceedings, and administration.

The sous fonds consists of a photographic record that documents the wood processing entity established by S.M. Simpson across iterations of corporate ownership, as well as business records relating to substantial operations, labour relations, safety programs, legal proceedings, and administration.

George Meeres collection

Biographical sketch:
George Albert Meeres (1878-1972), photographer and artist, was born in Grimsby, England in 1878. He emigrated to Canada in 1906. In 1910, he and partner Arthur John Lawrence purchased a photo studio from James Fenton in Russell, Manitoba. The partnership of Lawrence & Meeres continued until 1917 when it was dissolved. Meeres carried on under the name of George A. Meeres, Photographer, until 1925 when he sold the business and moved to Nelson, B.C. He purchased the Campbell Art Gallery, changing its name to George A. Meeres, Photographer. After a short time in Grindrod, he moved to Vernon, B.C., opening Meeres' Photographic and Art Studio in 1940. He specialized in portraits, wedding photos, and hand colouring. His studio operated in Vernon until 1968 and George Meeres died in Vernon in 1972 at the age of 94.

Scope and content:
Subseries consists of professional photographs captured by George Albert Meeres. Geographies documented centre on the Okanagan, Shuswap, and Thompson regions ranging from Osoyoos, BC (southern boundary of coverage) to Revelstoke, BC (north-eastern boundary of coverage) and Chase, BC (northwestern boundary of coverage). Includes Penticton, Oyama, Winfield, Okanagan Centre, Vernon, Lumby, Armstrong, Falkland, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Grindrod, Sicamous, Malakwa, Tappen – with predominant coverage of Vernon, BC. A suite of photographs within the subseries provides coverage of the Armstrong Fall Fair, later termed the Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE) during the 1940s and early 1950s.

Scenes captured depict landscapes, street scenes, industry, and labour, with special attention paid to the orchard and forestry industries.

S.M. Simpson Ltd. Retrospectives

Subseries consists of various compiled manuscripts and informally published materials either relating directly to the historical narrative of S.M. Simpson Ltd. or to aspects of its operations.
Date range extends beyond the corporate existence of S.M. Simpson Ltd but is included in the series and parent series because of its pertinence to the company.

Historical mining research collection

Subseries consists of collected materials with pertinence to the mining industry in the late 19th and early 20th century in the Kootenay, Boundary, and Similkameen regions of British Columbia.
Includes collected photographs, clippings, government publications, maps (mineral claims) and textual records.

Subseries documents the Nickel Plate and Mascot mines near Hedley, BC, and several short-lived mining boom towns in the Kootenays and Boundary country (Phoenix, Camp McKinney) as well as Blakeburn and Coalmont (also now abandoned) in the Similkameen.

S.M. Simpson Ltd. Artifacts

Subseries consists of various artifacts in wood, metal, fabric, paper and other materials, generated in the normal pursuit of business by S.M. Simpson and/or deliberately created as souvenirs.

S.M. Simpson Ltd.

Archibald Murchie collection

Biographical sketch:
Archibald Murchie (1852-1930) immigrated to Victoria, BC as an adult. His brother, Thomas Murchie would go on to found Murchie’s Tea and name his own son Archibald Murchie (1892-1925, and not to be confused with his namesake). Following his calling to become an evangelist minister for the Spiritualist Church (an off-shoot of the Church of England), he set off into the interior of BC to preach as a missionary.

Although Murchie had dabbled in photography prior to coming to Canada, his career began in earnest when he arrived in Williams Lake, BC, in 1893. Wherever his missionary calling took him, Murchie brought along his camera. Marcus Smith, famed CPR engineer and previous associate of Murchie’s by function of their common membership to the Spiritualist Church, hired Murchie to photograph the creation of a bridge over the Fraser River at Sheep Creek. Work on this project was slow enough to afford Murchie to engage in side trips to Quenel, BC, and farther north. Here he made a connection with the Reverend A. H. Cameron who suggested he establish a parish in Princeton. After this failed, Murchie returned to the Cariboo and set up a photography studio in Ashcroft, BC.

In 1911 Murchie moved again to the Okanagan Valley and in 1916 at age 64 he married Amy Wood. His last attributed photograph was taken in 1918.

Scope and content:
Landscapes showing developing infrastructure in the interior of British Columbia in the later 19th and early 20th century, with especially robust coverage of the construction of railroads and bridges, as well as some mining operations. Features group portraits of work crews.

Penticton area research collection

Subseries consists of a photographic and oral history record of Penticton civic life from approximately 1910 through the mid 1970s, with predominant coverage during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Materials relate to sports, cultural events, landmarks and buildings, industry, transportation & infrastructure, and agriculture. Many of the photographs can likely be attributed to the Penticton Herald.

Penticton Herald photograph collection

Subseries consists of an acquisition by Doug Cox of a collection of photographic negatives from the newspaper The Penticton Herald.

Coverage includes themes such as the cultural events, sports, rodeo, telecommunications, buildings and community infrastructure, aviation, industry, disasters.

Richter and Tweddle families collection

Biographical sketch:
The Tweddle and Richter families the Similkameen and South Okanagan have robust ties.

Richter: Francis Xavier Richter (1837-1910) was born in Freidland, Bohemia on November 5, 1837. In 1864 arrived in the Okanagan/Similkameen area to start cattle ranching. He and Lucy Simla (1846-1903, also notated as Lucy simla Acat, also notated as Lucy Sʔímlaʔxʷ), a member of the Okanagan First Nation from Vernon, BC, were married in 1867 or 1868. They had 5 sons: Charles (1869-1949), William (1872-1922), Joseph (1874-1971), Edward (1876-1971), and John “Hans” Richter (1877-1961).

Prior to the death of his first wife, Lucy Simla, F.X. Richter married Florence Elizabeth Loudon (1877 – 1959) in 1894 and subsequently fathered six more children: Betty, Freida, Frances, Helen, Kathleen, Francis X. Richter Jr. F.X. Richter’s oldest son, Charles, married Florence Loudon’s sister, Ada, in 1900 (Sources: OHS Report 14)

Richter has been described as being responsible for starting the fruit industry in the Similkameen Valley and he had a major orchard operation.

Tweddle: Haliburton “Harry” Tweddle (1876-1957) married Florence Elizabeth Richter (née Loudon, F.X. Richter’s second wife and widow) in 1912. They had 4 children: Haliburton T. (Hal), Margaret, Eileen, and Willa. (Source: OHS report 23). Harry Tweddle owned the Central Hotel in Keremeos, B.C., and operated a ranch, livery stable and stage line serving the Similkameen Valley.

Scope and content:
Subseries consists of photographic and textual documentation of the F.X. Richter and Halliburton Tweddle families, as conjoined by Elizabeth Loudon, in the South Okanagan and Similkameen regions. Photographic subject matter treats themes of ranching and orcharding; textual records include copies of correspondence, wills, family trees, etc.

Savona research collection

Subseries comprises the deliberate collecting activity of Ed Villiers and provides documentation of approximately one century of Savona history, which is today west of Kamloops on the shore of Kamloops Lake where the Thompson River has its egress. Originally, Savona was situated on the north shore of Kamloops Lake and represented the terminus of the stage coach line from Cache Creek on the Cariboo Wagon Road. It was also the site of a lake steamboat harbor which carried goods and passengers toward the Shuswap. As rail service was developed on the south shore of Kamloops lake, the decision was made to relocate the town in the 1880s- the relocation was executed by mechanism of pulling structures across the frozen lake during the winter.

Subseries features in large part copied tear sheets of other historical sources, as well as original manuscripts prepared by Ed Villers for the Savona Community Heritage Committee. Other records include census documents, town directories and other documentation.

Lumb Stocks collection

Biographical sketch:
Lumb Stocks (b. 1887 in Leicester, England, d. 1947 in Penticton, BC) immigrated to Kelowna in 1910. He traveled back in England in 1915 to marry his wife, Marion. Together they had five children: Peter, Beryl, Jack, Daphne, and David.

In Vernon, Stocks purchased a camera from G.H.E. “Huddy” Hudson. Soon Stocks was offered a job by Hudson and he joined his photography studio. He became a partner and took over operations of the firm in 1916 when Hudson returned to England during WWI, renaming the enterprise “Hudson-Stocks & Co.” After deciding to stay permanently in England, Hudson asked Stocks in 1918 to buy out his partnership. Instead Stocks made a purchase from Hudson and his Penticton partner, Ken Chadwick, for the photography firm there and moved his family to the Penticton area.

Lumb Stocks’ second son, Jack Stocks, took over the business upon his father’s death in 1947, and maintained the Stocks Photography until his own untimely death in 1979.

Scope and content:
Subseries consists of photographic record captured by Lumb Stocks and/or Jack Stocks and/or on behalf of Stocks Camera Shop, Penticton BC. These are commercial, professional photographs and the collection features an insignificant number of portraits or candid shots. The majority of the photographs were created during the lifetime of Lumb Stocks, and a minority by Jack Stocks, his successor.

Subseries documents landscapes, city scenes, events, disasters, buildings, and landmarks associated with Penticton, BC, primarily during the first half of the twentieth century.

Suite of postcards features a small subset of hand-tinted examples.

R.D. Symonds collection

Subseries consists of photographic materials attributed to photographer R.D. Symonds per various identifying annotations by Doug Cox. Geographical coverage is predominantly the south Okanagan - Kaleden and Okanagan Falls - with predominant association with the ranching industry.

Crown Zellerbach Canada (Southern Interior Wood Products) Operations Files

Subseries consists of partial documentation of the substantial forestry, logging, and sawmill operations conducted by Crown Zellerbach Canada (Southern Interior Wood Products) during the 1960s through 1980s. Predominantly, this subseries is comprised of prepared reports, prospectuses, industrial profiles, and descriptions of assets, work processes, and mill specifications.

Crown Zellerbach Canada

Sharron J. Simpson sous fonds

Sous fonds consists of documentation of Sharron J. Simpson’s activities between the years of approximately 1994 to 2011. Sous fonds is predominantly concerned with Sharron J. Simpson’s leadership in the Simpson Covenant court case in 2007 and 2008, as well as the compilation of her personal family research and a few writing samples. In addition, an aggregation of photographs related to her activities is also included.

Sharron J. Simpson Research Files

Series consists of materials documenting Sharron J. Simpson’s efforts to collect external information about various aspects of her family history centering mainly on the history of S.M.S. Ltd., but not including research particular to the Simpson Covenant, which is kept separate.
In addition to the collection of published materials (predominantly newspapers) the series also includes recorded oral histories and select transcripts.

Simpson, Sharron J.

Doug Cox manuscripts and publications

The series consists of textual works by Doug Cox, occasionally edited by Joyce Cox. Includes curricular materials developed for the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, short compositions, historical drafts, biographical drafts, proofs for works destined for publication, and materials prepared as a regular column for the Western Producer. Includes 6 scrapbooks of clippings from the Western News Advertiser covering a recurring column contributed by Doug Cox.

Crown Zellerbach Canada

Series is comprised of documentary record generated by the business activities of Crown Zellerbach Canada Ltd (Southern Interior Wood Products) which purchased the business holdings of S.M. Simpson Ltd. in 1965. Series also includes older materials from mills acquired at the same time as S.M. Simpson Ltd., but which were not affiliated with S.M. Limited during its active existence, namely Lumby Sawmill.
For several years after the acquisition of S.M.S. Ltd., those holdings taken over from S.M. Simpson Ltd. were referred to the S.M. Simpson Ltd. Division of Crown Zellerbach Canada.
In 1973, the name was changed to Crown Zellerbach Canada, and the corporation embarked on a modernization program, documented in this series. In 1981, it was purchased by Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd. and the company name was changed to Crown Forest.
Series contains documentation of sawmills located in Kelowna, Lumby, Enderby, Armstrong, Falkland, and Monte Lake, British Columbia.
Series within this sous fonds continue at 2.1.3.

Crown Zellerbach Canada

Ed Aldredge collection

Biographical sketch:
Edgar “Eddie” Wilfrid Aldredge (1901-1992) was one of Penticton’s best known residents. After having worked stints with on the railroad with CPR and in the mining industry with Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company (Trail) in his youth, Aldredge returned to Penticton and began his career as a journalist with the Penticton Herald newspaper in the 1920s. He eventually settled into writing a recurring column dedicated to profiling prominent white settler families of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Later, he wrote a similar column for Okanagan Sunday. He married Winnfred Sadler of Kaleden (d. 1986) in 1963. Ed Aldredge was awarded the City of Penticton’s Merit award for his contributions to the community at in 1973 at the age of 72.

Scope and content:
Subseries consists of 265 photographs taken by Ed Aldredge of notable people, structures, landmarks, and events in Penticton, BC. The subseries consists secondarily of a collection of his published columns in the Penticton Herald and Okanagan Sunday as clippings, mounted in two large scrapbooks.

S.M. Simpson Ltd. Legal Files

Subseries consists of legal records including contracts, briefs, land titles, licenses, patents created by S.M.S. Ltd.

S.M. Simpson Ltd.

General research files

Series consists of the accumulation of research materials compiled by Doug Cox in support of his author and historian function, and presumed compiled predominantly during the 1980s and 1990s. This series is defined by its collection and/or photocopying from existing published sources and/or other resources, for which the originals reside both within and without the Cox Collection.

Series is composed predominantly of original and photocopied tear sheets from various periodical publications (with emphasis on the annual reports of the Okanagan Historical Society, which have been digitized in full), monograph publications, photocopied photographs with identifying annotations, photocopies of correspondence, some original correspondence, and notes.

Brent family collection

Biographical sketch:
Alexander Theodore “Sandy” Brent (1912-1990) was as lifelong resident of the South Okanagan. After the death of his mother in the influenza epidemic of 1918, he and his siblings (Frederick (Eddie), Mary, Alice, Margaret and Donald) were raised by his grandparents at the Shingle Creek Ranch. Brent married Harriet Morgan and together they raised two sons (Kenneth (b. 1942) and George (b. 1945). His sister Alice married Hal Tweddle; she and her family is photographically documented in the Richter and Tweddle families collection.

The Brents lived variously in Allen Grove, St. Andrews by the Lake, and Penticton. Sandy Brent worked in ranching, hard rock mining (Nickel Plate mine above Hedley), logging, and finally as a foreman and later superintendent for the Hatfield family’s Interior Contracting Company.

Scope and content:
Subseries consists of recorded interview and transcripts of recorded interviews. Not all audio recordings associated with transcripts are extant; likewise not all audio tapes have an associated recording. Content of interviews includes personal reminiscences, descriptions of photographs, and family histories. Subseries also includes a suite of interviews with his sisters, Margaret, Alice, and Margaret.

Doug Cox research materials

Series consists of Doug Cox’s collecting activity carried out in support of his writing. Points of origin are from various interior regions of British Columbia. Collections acquired are predominantly composed of photographic material, secondarily of textual material, with thematically compiled interviews and associated transcripts also included. Contents depict, describe, and comment upon a variety of scenes and settings, primarily concerning industry and infrastructure, family life, city scenes, and landscapes during the first half of the twentieth century. Many photocopies of images exist with annotations by original donor identifying human subjects, their relationships, and their locations.

The series contains 21 subseries.

S.M. Simpson Ltd. Financial Files

Subseries consists of remaining financial records describing the debits and credits of S.M. Simpson prior to the founding of S.M. Simpson Ltd, as well as those generated as a natural by-product of operations of the enterprise, S.M. Simpson Ltd.
Contents of series include banking records, invoices, company financial reports, and payroll & remittances to Workman’s Compensation (currently known as WorkSafe BC).

S.M. Simpson Ltd.

Apex Mountain collection

Subseries consists of a collection of documents covering the inception and development of Apex Mountain Resort near Penticton, BC. Includes form letters to Apex members, reports, and some financial statements. Also included is a collection of promotional brochures from the 1970s – 1990s

An additional sequence of photographs related to Apex Mountain can also be found in series 1.3-1 (Historical Photograph Collection) at the item range 1.3-1/00766 – 1.3-1/00813.

Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd. / Crown Forest

Series consists of partial record of operations of Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd, which purchased Crown Zellerbach in 1981 with coverage of safety programs and vendor relations. This subseries is predominantly photographic.
This corporate entity did business as Crown Forest from 1981 to 1987 following its purchase from Crown Zellerbach. After 1987, the name of the entity was changed to Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd.

Fletcher Challenge Canada Limited

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