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Family business celebrates six decades in southeast Saskatchewan

The company grew from humble beginnings, as in the 1950s, Jerry Mainil began roughnecking on oil rigs when oil was discovered in southeast Saskatchewan, and he started welding in the back yard of his parents’ home in Weyburn.
Dale Mainil, Calvin Tracey and Dennis Mainil, the owner partners of Jerry Mainil Ltd., are ready to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary.

WEYBURN - A Weyburn family business, Jerry Mainil Limited, is celebrating its sixth decade of operation, and will be holding a community event on Saturday, Aug. 28 in River Park.

The company grew from humble beginnings, as in the 1950s, Jerry Mainil began roughnecking on oil rigs when oil was discovered in southeast Saskatchewan, and he started welding in the back yard of his parents’ home in Weyburn.

He also bought a water truck to use at the rig he was working on, and he eventually developed his own business, incorporating it on Aug. 31, 1961 as Jerry Mainil Ltd.

He moved his business into the location where they are currently housed, on New City Garden Road, and hired four men to keep with the growth in the oil industry as well as expanding into agricultural and civil industries.

Under the direction of a second generation since 1992, sons Dale and Dennis Mainil and son-in-law Calvin Tracey, Jerry Mainil Ltd. has continued to grow and diversify to full service their customers’ needs.

Dennis began working for his father in 1982, and Dale in 1983, with Calvin joining the company in 1990 after he began working in Halbrite doing some of the same work.

“The 90s were pretty good growing years, and we kept growing the company,” said Dale, adding that it has changed a lot over the years.

Some of the major changes have included safety and quality control standards both becoming of prime importance to the company, along with environmental standards, which “is huge compared to when my father started,” said Dennis.

In addition to these, the company has diversified in the types of work they do, particularly in light of the oil industry downturn for the past seven or eight years in southeast Saskatchewan.

They have expanded into civil construction, such as leases, road-building, rail sidings and subdivision development, along with pipelining, maintenance, welding, reclamation and demolition, such as most recently the Weyburn Inn and Queen Elizabeth School.

The three partners feel that the quality of their staff is one of the top reasons they continue to be successful at what they do.

“One of the most important aspects of our business is the quality of the people we have. We’ve always had great people working for us,” said Tracey.

“With our long-term employees, we’ve been very fortunate,” added Dennis, noting they have two employees who have been with them for over 40 years.

“Our success is our people,” agreed Dale. “Like with a team, we all play a role. It’s because of the great people that have bought into Jerry Mainil Ltd.”

He added they have also built up a customer and client base who are very loyal to them and will hire them for large jobs rather than bringing in a larger company from out of the area or out of the province.

“There have been lean years and good years, and like anybody, we take the good with the bad,” said Dale, adding of the downturn in oil, “We’ve stuck it out for seven years now. That’s what we’ve always done. We find ways to keep working, which ties into the diversity of work that we do.”

The work force at JML ranges from 80 to 120, depending on the season and how busy the company is able to be with work, he said.

A major reason for having a community celebration of their 60th anniversary is the company’s belief in supporting the local community and its organizations and groups.

“We just wanted to thank the community, as the community has been part of our success. We’re proud of Weyburn,” said Dale. “We’ve stuck through lots of challenges, and Weyburn is home for us and for our people.”

The company has contributed into Weyburn and surrounding communities, including last year at Nickle Lake Regional Park. The company was awarded the contract to build and develop 60 full-service camp spots last year, and the company in turn donated $50,000 back into the park.

Some of the many community projects they have supported includes various sports teams and events, 4-H projects, Legion branches, local non-profit organizations, golf sponsorships, vocational trade scholarships, the Weyburn and District Hospital Foundation, and many other events and organizations.

Dale pointed out that the driving force for the community celebration came from staff, headed up by Darcy McCormick, Operations Manager, along with many other key staff members who are organizing and setting up the celebration event.

The setup will be similar to when they set up their tent at the Weyburn Oil Show, and they will have McKenna Hall Catering provide the food for the event. In addition, the company will be giving out 60 $50 gift cards from Weyburn area businesses as a part of the celebration.