“My mother-in-law had some kind of reputation for her cook-ing
– scrumptious meals that people wouldn’t even think about go-ing
to a restaurant… they made an extra effort to eat at camp,” said
Sherry Duncan. “Our employees would drive by with their families
and stop in to have suppers with us. It was never an imposition be-cause
they’re a part of the family. Peggy played a big role in creating
our family-like atmosphere.”
In 1981, at Rivers, Man., Duncan Construction built its first rail-way
siding for the Canadian Railway Company.
The summer of 1986 was a memorable moment for Duncan
Construction. After years of smaller jobs like clearing land for farm-ers
in the Spy Hill area and building grid roads, the company picked
up its first highway job along Highway 8.
“It was a really big deal for us,” said Carmen. “We basically went
from what I liked to call a ‘mom and pop shop’ with 10 or so employ-ees,
and after we got this highway job we saw our company shoot
Starting them young:
grandson Dallas Delmage
loads his rock truck
for a heavy haul
up to about 55 or 60 employees that summer. That was
a really big jump for us. We started to get bigger equip-ment
and we had to grow a little faster than what we
were ready for, but we went out and did it and kept
growing from there.”
A few years later, Duncan Construction made a ma-jor
purchase – it bought two brand new scrappers. But
the celebration was tempered somewhat as later that
year the federal government announced it wouldn’t be
allocating funds to the provincial government’s road
Cameron and Carmen suddenly found themselves with more
than a million dollars in idle construction equipment. Eventually,
more jobs started to trickle through.
“We pushed through it, we diversified and took on different jobs
and worked those scrappers 16 hours a day for four and half years,”
And the company has grown over the years – from just a handful
of seasonal workers to close to 60 this summer.
Duncan Construction already is aiming for a 75-year anniversa-ry.
Perhaps by then Carmen and Sherry’s three daughters – Marissa,
Kaylee and Zoe – will have more of a role in the family business.
But Carmen doesn’t see himself going anywhere.
“He wouldn’t want to know any other life because he absolutely
loves what he does,” said Sherry. “He takes so much pride in what he
does, just like his dad did.”
and Peggy Duncan
saskheavy.ca | Quarter 3 2017 | Think BIG 27