With deepest sympathies we reflect on the memory of Stuart McLean.
Stuart, a Canadian icon who has graced us with stories and memories to last us all a lifetime will forever be missed. He reminded us that every little moment is golden and reminded us to never take those moments for granted. Through stories of fact and fiction Stuart brought Canadians together around a radio every week to for a moment be reminded of the beauty of life. For that he will forever be loved and remembered.
A thank you to Stuart for that and another thank you for his role in making Pollock's what it is today. Back in 2008 Stuart read a letter written by a member of our community Rhian Brynjolson. This letter held the story of Pollock's Hardware and was heard nation wide. After airing, memberships came flooding in from all across Canada in support of Pollock's Hardware Co-op. The impact Stuart had on community's, local organizations and people was astounding and we were fortunate enough to be a part of that magic. While reflecting back today we came across a binder. In this binder was dozens of letters sent in from all across Canada to our door step. In these letters were people writing to show there support and love for Pollock's after hearing about it on the Vinyl Cafe. People who have never even been to Winnipeg, but now plan to just to see the little hardware store that Stuart had read about.
Stuart McLean the icon, the story teller, the reminder that every moment is precious
and a founding member of Pollock's Hardware Co-op
Your story will never be forgotten.
Below is our post written back when the original show aired. We are still on the look out for the podcast for this episode so you come across is please share!
A letter by Rhian Brynjolson to Stuart McLean at the Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio.
In time I will find and post a link to listen to the show its self. This way you can sit back and enjoy Stuart McLean tell the story of Pollock's Hardware!!! A great story and a great story teller...what could be better!!
By Rhian Brynjolson from Winnipeg, MB May 3, 08
Last night we gathered together as many neighbors as we could fit into our local community center, set up tables for a potluck and said goodbye to a community institution in Winnipeg's north end.
Pollock Hardware has been in the neighborhood for as long as any of us can remember. The original owner bequeathed it to his stock boy. The current owners tried hard to find a buyer, but the time has come for them to retire out to the cottage, so the doors are now closed.
We have all appreciated the variety of things we could find at Pollock Hardware. We live in an older neighborhood with older houses that require ongoing repair. It feels like something always needs plumbing, patching,
glazing, hanging, grouting, plastering, unlocking or fastening. In our neighborhood renovation is thought of as a leisure activity. We work our way through kitchens, bathrooms, windows, hallways, living areas, decks, fences… and then start all over again.
Pollock's always seemed to have what we needed.
It is a mystery to me how all of that inventory fit into that store.
And the staff all seemed to know what we were talking about when we asked vaguely for ‘the thing that fits inside the tap’. And not only that…but that they seemed to know exactly where to find it inside the store – even though no one had ordered the part since 1953.
If they didn’t have the part, they’d improvise one out of baling wire and charge you 14 cents. Once I was told “No, we don’t carry
that, but I’ve got some in my basement at home I’m not using. I’ll bring it in for you tomorrow.”
There were also, of course, the gadgets. They had a wonderful stock of beautiful, practical, simple machines that don’t blink and beep. Machines that don’t require electricity and counter space. Friendly, low maintenance machines that sit quietly and obediently in bottom drawers until they’re needed.
We enjoyed the cider and cookies they served at Christmas. All of these things made Pollock Hardware feel more like a small town general store – or maybe even a community center. It was common to stay and chat for a while, trying to postpone the renovation work waiting for at home.
So last night was difficult. It was a sad but special night last night. A number of people took turns thanking Wayne and Lois for their work; for helping to establish part of Main street as a business zone and improving the neighborhood, for helping with the gardening projects at Luxton School.
Our local MP, Judy Wasylicia-Leis presented them with a letter from parliament. Sharon Corey, a local artist, presented them with a painting of the store. Everyone had pitched in to have the painting framed. There were hugs and toasts and a cake wishes for a happy retirement.
I'm still getting used to the boarded up windows and the padlock on the door. I don't know where I'm going to find the washers for the antique plumbing in my house. I'm going to miss the cider and cookies at Christmas. So I'm buying a share in the co-op that a group of people have started to try to keep the store open. More than 50 people showed up at the first meeting and we're hoping that the credit union will give us a mortgage. And that this story might have a happy ending yet…
A Thank You from Pollock's Hardware Co-op
A special thank you to Rhian Brynjolson, Stuart McLean and the Vinyl Cafe from all of us at Pollock Hardware Co-op.
This letter and the story it made on the Vinyl Cafe brought forward many supporters and in turn many members in to the Community that Pollock's is a part of. In turn it was a big helping hand in Pollock Hardware Co-op's great comeback!
A thank you goes out to all the members across Canada as well.
You are just as important in the revitalization of Pollock Hardware Co-op!!
If you are not a member and would like to become a part of our co-op
please follow the link below
or come and see us!
We are located at
1407 Main Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Although our daily lives are busy I recommend kicking back for an hour
in your favourite chair with a nice warm bevy and your little radio
and tune the station to
CBC Radio Two if it is a Saturday at 9:05 AM
CBC Radio One if it is a Sunday at 12:05 PM
CBC Radio One if it is a Tuesday at 11:05 AM
Here you will discover many wonderful stories, music and
you will fall in love with the great radio show
The Vinyl Cafe