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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
James McGavin

James McGavin is the president of McGavin's, Limited, Bakers of Edmonton. This is one of the largest enterprises of its character, not only ill but in all western Canada, and its business has been built up through the enterprise, ability and progressiveness of him who is still at its head. So carefully has he directed his interests and so wisely has he used his opportunities that he has steadily advanced in the business world and the steps in his orderly progression are easily discernible, while his record constitutes an example that others might wisely and profitably follow.

James McGavin was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, on the 28th of December, 1882, and there he was reared and educated, pursuing his studies in the public schools. When a youth of but thirteen years he made his initial step in the business world by entering upon an apprenticeship to the baker's trade, his term of indenture to cover five years. During the first year he received in wages only a dollar and a half per week and at the end of the five-year period he was being paid but three dollars per week. However, he learned the trade most thoroughly and thus laid the foundation for his success in later life. He continued to work as a baker in Scotland for some time and also occupied the position of foreman with the Darvel Industrial Cooperative Society for several years. At length the opportunities of the new world proved to him irresistibly attractive and in 1913 he made his way direct from Scotland to Edmonton, where he has since maintained his home. Soon after his arrival here lie established his present business in a small way. His trade has grown year by year until he is now one of the notably successful bakers of the province. The business has an output of twenty-five thousand loaves of bread daily and the capacity of the plant is thirty-five thousand loaves. He ships bread all over the province and also into British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The trade has developed as the result of the excellence of his output, for at no time has he ever sacrificed quality through volume of trade. He has a splendidly equipped plant supplied with all the latest improved machinery for the making and handling of bakery goods and the utmost care is maintained as to cleanliness and sanitary conditions in the bakery. Aside from his association with McGavin's, Limited, Bakers, he is the president of the Alberta Building & Loan Association and the vice president of the Edmonton Credit Company. In fact, he is one of the most alert and progressive young business men of the city and what he has achieved represents the fit utilization of his time, talents and powers.

In 1913 Mr. McGavin was united in marriage to Miss Zula Duggar and they have become the parents of four children: Allen, James M., Donna and Wilfred. Mr. and Mrs. McGavin are consistent members of the Presbyterian church. He belongs to the Rotary Club and is in hearty sympathy with the high ideals and purposes of that organization. In fact, he is actuated by a most progressive spirit in all that he undertakes, whether in relation to public affairs or to the conduct of private business interests. He has never had occasion to regret his leaving the land of hills and heather in order to try his fortune in the new world, for here he found the opportunities which he sought and in their utilization has steadily advanced until he is today in control of a mammoth business and ranks as a prominent representative of commercial interests in his adopted province.


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