Quest in Roots:
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THE GORDON BEEF RING
The Gordon Beef ring was begun in 1911. A slaughter house was built in that year - the cost of materials and labor a grand total of $102.45, on the farm of C. Ego 32-12-16, and he was the first butcher. F. Murray was the first president. The slaughter house blew over in 1916 and was moved to the Watson farm 28-13-16. It was moved in to Mentmore in 1927.
There were 10 shares in the ring at the beginning, later expanded to 24 shares running 16 weeks during the summer, later lengthened to 22 weeks.
The animal was butchered in the evening and the meat was cut up in the morning, and divided among members. Each share consisted of one roast, one boil and one round steak. Many people took only a half share and received a roast and a boil, week about.
There were many beef rings in the farm areas of the province, at one time,'' but by the time Mentmore had operated for 50 years there were only three known to be in existence - Birnie, Rapid City and Mentmore. The numbers had declined because of the readily available facilities for storing large quantities of beef in the later years.
The members of the Mentmore ring, found the fresh meat preferable and so continued in operation for 54 years without a break.
The Mentmore beef ring was one of the first in operation in the province and continued for the longest time closing in 1965. During the 54 years, 789,814 pounds of beef were distributed to the members. A Hart and A McKee were the last officers.
Through the years, the ring provided good, fresh meat each week and was an opportunity forthe pioneers to come together to help each other.
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