Oral History - Peppin, Art


Jack Gallin (00:07):
This is an interview with Arthur J Peppin, retired director of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society's branch of OMAF. Uh, the interview conducted at Mr. Peppin's home, 55 Caledonia R- Street, Guelph, Ontario on January 23rd, 1995. Uh, interview conducted on behalf of the Oral History Committee of the Alumni in Action group of the, uh, uh, University of Guelph alumni, uh, interview conducted by Jack Gallant.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (00:47):
Yeah. Along with the, uh, Agricultural and Horticultural Society's branch. I think, uh, we probably should have in there that our office also looked after the international plowing match, uh, and farm machining show. This is rather important because uh, uh, during the time that we were, uh, working on the plowing match, why, we were always working five years ahead. And so you're dealing with a different, uh, group all the time and, uh, it was really something to keep up with the, uh, the different committees that we dealt with over the years.

Jack Gallin (01:24):
Oh, that's great. Art, now, uh, give me a bit about your very early years, your background, family background, and, uh, very early years of your life.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (01:36):
Okay. I was actually born in Ottawa and, uh, my family moved to, uh, Prince Edward Island in 1917 and, uh, my dad was, uh, sent down there from Ottawa, actually, to work on seed potatoes, which were just, uh, s- in their infancy at that time. And, uh, in the first place, he went to Grand Falls, New Brunswick, and then a couple years later... Or no, a l- a l- a little later, uh, he moved across to Charlottetown. And when the, uh, head of the Charlottetown Seed Potato Certification Service, uh, was sent to Saint Catherine's, Ontario, Dad took over, uh, as the, uh, director of the Seed Potato Certification Service in PEI.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (02:22):
Uh, I went to, uh, school in Charlottetown and, uh, Prince of Wales College also. Uh, there. And then, uh, went to work at the, uh, plant pathology lab under Dick Hurst. Now, Dick Hurst was graduate of OAC, 1922, and, uh, was instrumental in my, uh, coming here because, uh, he asked me what I intended to do with myself, offered me a job each summer for the next, uh, few years while I uh, uh, paid my own way through, uh, OAC.

Jack Gallin (03:01):
What were conditions like on the island in those days and, uh, the first World War was on then? Uh, and, eh...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (03:12):
In the first place, yes, yeah. Uh, well, I don't remember that part of it, but I do remember in 1929, of course, uh, my mother and dad had been investing heavily in stocks up until that time on margin, and I can still remember my dad coming in the back door from work and s- looking at Mom and saying, uh, uh, "We lost our shirt." And, uh, things were tough on the island. Uh, we'd planted potatoes in the lot next door to our place and, uh, sold to the local, uh, uh, grocer to give us a little tin money, uh, uh, my, my brothers and myself.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (03:51):
Uh, I can also recall that, uh, when I worked for the plant pathology lab, we had potato experiments and, uh, we went out to these plots around the island and, uh, people were there working from sun up in the morning until sundown at night in October, uh, picking potatoes and they got the magnificent sum of 50 cents a day and, uh, had to pay their own, uh, own lunch. Or that was backbreaking work cause they were doing this all by hand.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (04:23):
Uh, things were tough on the island. Uh, I worked, prior to gr- working at the, uh, lab, I worked for 25, uh, I worked for less than 25 cents an hour. I delivered groceries on year for, uh, uh, $6.00 a week and I was working 60, uh, hours. So I was getting 10 cents an hour at that time. So I was more than happy when, uh, Mr. Hurst offered me a job, uh, at the lab and, uh, I then, uh, more than doubled my pay because I was getting 25 cents an hour.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (04:57):
And these figures, of course, uh, when you look at them now, in 1995, uh, are desperately low. But, uh, you have to figure that, uh, the '30s, the dirty '30s, uh, uh, were bad all the way around. Uh, my dad's pay, uh, was cut 10% immediately uh, uh, after the, uh, [inaudible] the Depression started. So uh, there were six, uh, children in our family and, uh, uh, it was tough sledding.

Jack Gallin (05:28):
So you survived those years and, uh, uh, sort of at the instigation of Mr. Hurst, uh, came to Guelph in thir- '36?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (05:40):
Yes, I came, came to Guelph 1936. Uh, and, uh, it was probably the best move I ever made because, uh, uh, heaven knows what would've happened if I hadn't, uh, uh, come to OAC. It, it, it was just a godsend. Uh, uh, it cost, uh, at that time, $25.00 a, a semester, uh, uh, to go through here. That was cause we were from, uh, uh, out of the province. The ones from the province paid $10.00 a, a semester. It cost us $5.00 and a half, uh, a week for room and board, and, uh, the room and board was excellent. The dining hall, Creelman Hall, uh, eh, uh, was just great. So uh...

Jack Gallin (06:29):
You started in the...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (06:31):

Jack Gallin (06:31):
...uh, associate class?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (06:33):
Yes, I went first two years in associate class, and then switched over or went onto the, uh, uh, what they call the intermediate year. And following that, I went into e- entomology. And, uh, I studied under, uh, Prof Baker and, uh, [inaudible] Osborne, Harold Colborne, and, uh, Bob Thompson, and, uh, did that for two years. Uh, graduated in 1941 and, uh, I might mention here that, that, uh, uh, in 1941, they suddenly confronted us with the, uh, uh, a number of, uh, exams and then, uh, after we asked why they said... or we ask them why we were writing all these exams and they said, "Well, didn't you hear? The place is, uh, OAC is being taken over by the Air Force on um, uh, Friday. So you're, you're going to, uh, you'll be told on Wednesday, uh, whether you'll graduate or not. And, uh, graduation will be on Friday." So we never did write our final examination.

Jack Gallin (07:38):
That was in the spring of '41?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (07:41):

Jack Gallin (07:43):
Uh, do you remember any special times in OAC during your time here? Any pranks or that sort of thing that the, the students might've played, or, uh, any special, uh, uh, professors that, uh...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (08:01):

Jack Gallin (08:01):
...impressed you in those days?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (08:03):
Well, I think the one d- uh, that possibly a lot of people will relate to, uh, is, uh, April the 1st, 1940, actually. Um, group of us were, uh, together there and pulling pranks on, uh, on each other and, uh, other members of the year when one of our fellows who was, uh, put on quite a Scotch accent, uh, said, "Let's, uh, give Dr. Christy a call and tell him that, uh, Mel Hills Ransom," uh, our famous short-horned bull which had been bought, I believe, for $15,000.00...

Jack Gallin (08:37):
From Scotland.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (08:38):
From Scotland. And, uh, and Scotty McLeod had come over, uh, with them and was now, uh, was at that time, uh, on the staff of the animal husbandry department. And, uh, so uh, this chap, uh, phone Dr. McLaughlin, put on a Scotch accent, and, uh, said that, uh, Mel Hiller, Mel Hills Ransom had broken his leg. Well, Dr. Christy was most upset, as you can imagine, and uh, uh, but at any rate, they closed off the conversation and, uh, we watched from a second floor, the, the ed building while Dr. Christy walked on to, eh, the animal husbandry department and he took strides there that must've been about 10 feet, uh, because he was practically running, uh, going down there.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (09:26):
And we were, of course, having a whale of a time. Uh, the rest of this we heard from the, some of the profs concerned, like Prof Raithby and, uh, Prof [inaudible] Staples and, uh, he got down, uh, Dr. Christy got down there, uh, and said, "What happened to Mel Hills Ransom?" And they all looked at him stunned. They didn't know anything happened to. He said, "Well, he broke his leg." Oh, we didn't know that. So away they go, uh, down to the bull barn and, uh, they meet, uh, Scotty on the way. And, uh, they of course asked him. He didn't know either. (laughs)

Arthur (Art) Peppin (10:04):
So they all headed over there, and of course Mel Hills Ransom was standing up there big and, (laughs) as he could be. And, uh, nothing wrong with him until finally, uh, one of the professors apparently said, "I know. This is April the 1st."

Jack Gallin (10:20):

Arthur (Art) Peppin (10:20):

Jack Gallin (10:20):

Arthur (Art) Peppin (10:23):
So uh, we of course never told him...

Jack Gallin (10:26):

Arthur (Art) Peppin (10:26):
...who it was. Uh, (laughs) that had done this.

Jack Gallin (10:29):

Arthur (Art) Peppin (10:29):
But, uh, uh, the profs concerned, like Prof Raithby and, uh, uh, n- the others, the, they were just the most wonderful people eh, you could meet. They, they could've, eh, probably figured out who it was, but they never did. [crosstalk].

Jack Gallin (10:45):
Are you, among your many friends in those days, I know you were very close friends with Claire.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (10:51):

Jack Gallin (10:51):
The late Claire Bert. And unfortunately, we, uh, were, didn't get a interview with Claire before his death, and, uh, wondered if you'd just give us a few minutes of reminiscence of your friendship with Claire Bert and, um, Bert Farm, and that sort of thing just to...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (11:11):
Yes, I'd be glad to because uh, uh, Claire was one of the first person that I met, uh, when I came up to OAC. He was on the same floor and, uh, Claire hadn't had as much education, uh, uh, as I had had. He had grade eight and, uh, he was struggling, uh, and, uh, each summer, we would write back and forth and, uh, he'd write me a letter, and then I would correct it and, uh, uh, uh, I'd correct it as well I could and send it back to... And uh, the, he live, he came in from Hillsberg, and I used to go out to their place, uh, uh, with Claire and, uh, Harry, who came uh, uh, to OAC later. Charlie, uh, was there.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (11:59):
But Claire himself, uh, worked very, very hard, uh, at OAC. And uh, he picked a tough, tough subject to, uh, get his, um, degree in cause he studied, uh, botany. And uh, w- this, this was real tough. And he studied under Prof, uh, Prof Howett, and he was the only one, uh, in the option. So uh, eh, it, uh, it was tough for Claire. But uh, uh, he did get through and, uh, went on and, uh, certainly made a great success of his life and, uh, uh, he and Milly were great friends of, uh, Ruth and myself.

Jack Gallin (12:44):
During your student years at OAC, um, what, uh, extracurricular activities were you involved with, uh, like athletics or, or politics, student politics, or anything like that? Uh...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (12:59):
Yes, uh, almost immediately, I got to, uh, uh, OAC in the fall of '36, why wi- they were, uh, those were the days of initiation and, uh, every morning we were out at 6:00 in the morning and, uh, doing calisthenics and uh, uh, duck walking in underneath the, uh, grandstand, which was then out, sitting out in front of the ed building. And uh, uh, running up and down and so on.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (13:26):
And we, they got us into pretty good shape, uh, in short order. And uh, then they finally had us, um, run around the beef block, which is, seemed like 10 miles at that time, but is only about two and a half, maybe three miles. And uh, I was fortunate. I didn't smoke at the time, and I guess I had a little more wind than the rest of them had. (laughs) And I wound up coming in amongst the first, uh, group of people so the, um, uh, track manager came along and, uh, he wanted me to uh, uh, go in the Harrier Team and so on. Well, I didn't really think I was able to do this. But anyway, uh, I did.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (14:11):
I went into the, was in the, uh, uh, intermediate and senior Harrier team, and on the track team. And, uh, of course going to OAC, one of the great things was you could get into, uh, lots of other things. And I was on the student council and the, uh, um, student co-op association. And, uh, I swam a lot there and, uh, got my bronze and senior, uh, bronze and silver medals, eh, uh, in lifesaving. And, uh, was on the [inaudible] committee and horticultural, uh, uh, society treasurer.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (14:50):
And, uh, I kept pretty busy with, uh, with a lot of these activities and, uh, I think that they all, uh, helped me, uh, later on in life. Yeah. One, uh, one of the things that I might mention that, uh, uh, has just not too long ago changed, uh, John Wheel was our professor in horticulture and, uh, uh, he had our group in the, uh, in the hort option, I guess you'd call it, in second year associate. And he had us, uh, dig and landscape the grounds, uh, all around the, uh, greenhouse, uh, at the hort department. And, um, uh, those, uh, that was in, uh, '37 I, I would say. And those things lasted for about 50 years, uh, uh, before they, um, they changed that and, uh, yeah, John was a great guy.

Jack Gallin (15:53):
Uh, I suppose, uh, you were involved in, uh, the odd, uh, relationship with the girls at Mac Hall as most, uh, students were in those days? Uh, maybe you'd rather not talk about it.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (16:08):

Jack Gallin (16:08):
But if so, uh, what, uh, can you remember about those days? Those things.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (16:12):
Well, um, I think, uh, when I come up here, I wasn't much of a dancer and I think when I left here, I wasn't that much better. But uh, one of the great things about Mack Hall, uh, certainly were the hocks that, uh, we paid a magnificent sum of 10 cents to go to. And they had the little band there. And uh, you'd have seven or eight dances over the course of the, uh, uh, the evening. And, uh, uh, m- perhaps my greatest asset at, uh, at the moment is, uh, my wife, Ruth, uh, who graduated, who took the Mack Hall course and, uh, graduated from there the same year as I did, uh, in 1941.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (16:56):
Uh, as far as, uh, other activities at, uh, uh, Mack Hall are concerned, the night before we graduated, why, there were a number of people... Uh, I won't mention any names. Somebody had got the key for the, uh, tunnel underneath Mack Hall, and had got up in there, opened the front door, and, uh, a group of people, uh, went in there and took the girls out of bed. And, uh, there was a great to-do about it. We could hear Mrs. Barber saying that she had a phone, uh, down to the police and she was gonna get the police.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (17:40):
Well, I don't believe she ever did. But the next morning, why she was, uh, uh, tried to round up, uh, two or three of the leaders. But, uh, uh, they were nowhere to be found and, uh, I don't think we did, uh, too much harm to the girls, uh, as far as that was concerned. And we certainly had a good time.

Jack Gallin (18:00):
Um, you, uh, were you in the armed forces. Uh, the war of course was on when you, eh, well underway when you graduated in '41. Did you join the armed forces immediately on graduation?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (18:13):
Uh, not immediately. Uh, I'd, I was already in the COTC at the, uh, uh, a- at OAC. And, uh, took the two weeks training course at Thames Valley Camp near London. And then, uh, in, I went back to, uh, Charlottetown and worked there for the summer. And, uh, the Navy had a, uh, nina- interviews with, uh, people from in and around Charlottetown and, uh, the boss there, uh, Lieutenant Birkewhistle, asked me to come in and go and be interviewed, uh, for an, for commission. And this took place early in November, uh, of 1941 and there were 24 people who were interviewed at that time. And of that, why, six, uh, six of us, uh, made the grade and, uh, I am proud to say that, uh, two of the six, uh, were, uh, OAC people. So uh...

Jack Gallin (19:16):
Who would the other one be?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (19:17):
Uh, the other one was Keith Morrow, who, who was a year ahead of me at, uh, uh, at college. And whom I drove up to, at, uh, Guelph with first year. Anyway, uh, I took my, uh, uh, Navy course at, uh, Kings College, uh, part of Dalhousie, uh, in 1942 and, uh, was appointed to the fleet male office, uh, in Halifax. And then I was a few months later... Oh, on my first leave, I might say that I married, uh, Ruth Johnson, uh, uh, from Essex, uh, Ontario, uh, who, uh, I had gone with all during my fourth year at college. And then...

Jack Gallin (20:04):
She was at Mack Hall?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (20:05):
She was at Mack Hall, yes. And she lived in, she lived in Watson Hall, but she was at Mack Hall, uh, for the one year, uh, for the one year of course. Uh, then, uh, I was in Halifax for a while, and then they sent me to the west coast, and from there I went overseas to Londonderry, Northern Ireland. And, uh, back to, uh, Cornwallis. And I might add that, uh, uh, we were in Halifax the day that war, uh, was finally over. Uh, DE Day. And uh, that was the day that the, uh, uh, troops, uh, took a lot of their, uh, spleen out on the citizens of Halifax and, uh, upset, uh, the streetcars and, um, broke into the, um, any shops that were available, and they started out with breaking into the liquor store.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (21:04):
And, uh, the, they generally made a mess of it, uh, to the point where the, uh, um, uh, the authorities, uh, uh, clamped, uh, right down and everybody had to go back in their barracks or whatever, uh, at 8:00 that night. Uh, after being, uh, over in Londonderry, why, I, uh, went onto Cornwallis for a few months, and then I was demobilized in, uh, September of 1945.

Jack Gallin (21:33):
Uh, what were your actual duties in the, uh, Navy then? Uh, eh...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (21:42):
I, I was the, uh... I worked in the, uh, fleet mail office and, uh, we, uh, the first two or three months, uh, we were censoring mail, censoring officers' mail. And then, uh, after that, I was sent to the west coast and was in charge, uh, of the two offices, uh, in Victoria. From there, I was shipped overseas and I opened the new office, uh, a new office in Londonderry, where our, eh, ocean, our frigates and corvettes, uh, came into Londonderry after taking the convoys across the ocean. And, uh, so I ran that, uh, office, as a Canadian fleet mail officer, and back in Cornwallis, I was the fleet mail officer in charge of the mail, uh, for four or five months there.

Jack Gallin (22:32):
So you were demobilized in the fall of '45. The war was just over, and you were out, and, uh, newly married, and a free man and, uh, what next?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (22:47):
Mm. Well, the, then, uh, uh, in 1945, I come back and here's, uh, where, uh, old friends count a lot. I, uh, uh, went to see Claire Bert, uh, whom I knew had been running the National Film Board office, uh, in the administration building and, uh, had just started it up in '43. And went to see him, and, uh, he said, "Well, I'm sure that we, we need people in, uh, in the National Film Board, er, would you be interested?" Well, I had seen shows overseas and, uh, I was interested in, uh, um, using projectors and, uh, showing films.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (23:28):
So make a long story short, uh, he took me to Ottawa, uh, I was interviewed, and, uh, on, uh, immediately with the National Film Board in Ottawa, and stayed there just a few months. When an opening came, uh, in the office in Guelph and, uh, I applied, uh, for it. And the, I came back here on April the 1st, 1946 and we- went to work for Claire in the, uh, uh, in the administration building.

Jack Gallin (23:57):
Now, this was the National Film Board had an office at the college, at the OAC. Is that right? Right?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (24:03):
That was the central office for the distribution of films, uh, for Ontario. And uh, un- under that, there were about 20 people, uh, who were, uh, uh, uh, went around the province, went to various, uh, schools, uh, during the day, showed the films there to the schools, and then, uh, at night, they would go to a, uh, uh, community hall or church basement or whatever, and, uh, show films, uh, for adults. And, uh, I did this, uh, until, uh, 1951 when I decided that, uh, I'd better look for something else and, uh, uh, went on with the Veterans Land Act for a year. And, um, uh, I [crosstalk]...

Jack Gallin (24:50):
In Guelph?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (24:52):
Uh, in Guelph my duties were, uh, in Wellington County, and I was a settlement officer and looked after the, uh, full time farms and, uh, the, uh, uh, ones who just had a small, uh, two acre and, uh, lot. In '52, a year later, why, I decided that, uh, eh, this probably didn't, uh, have a lasting, uh, hope as a job and, uh, I was able to get on at the OAC, uh, in charge of the distribution of, uh, films, uh, circulars, and, uh, white prints, and numerous other things, as well as the, uh, uh, imprinting operation, uh, in 1957.

Jack Gallin (25:45):
You came out of the, uh, Navy in '45 and came on with the National Film Board in Guelph. Uh, uh, where were you living then?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (25:54):
Uh, uh, that's, that's a good question. 1940, uh, '5 to '46, we were in Ottawa. But then, when we moved back, uh, uh, to Guelph in 1946, that group were just starting to, uh, uh, build houses. Uh, these were all people who had been in the services, uh, during the war. And they were building houses, uh, opposite the poultry department, uh, uh, on the highway, on the left hand east side of the highway.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (26:26):
And, uh, we decided to go in with them, and we built these houses during the, uh, uh, spring, summer, fall, uh, of 1946 and the, uh, college were very good to us. They put in our, uh, hydro and our, uh, plumbing, and then, uh, we paid, uh, we paid for these, uh, services as we received them.

Jack Gallin (26:50):
As I recall, this, this was a rather unique arrangement. You didn't own the land, uh, um, just explain how that worked, uh...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (26:59):
Yeah. Tha- that's correct. Uh, they gave us a 40 year lease with an option of renewal at that time. And of course, in 1946, 40 years seemed like a, an awful long, uh, uh, time. Um, we, uh, soon found out that we weren't, we didn't really own anything, uh, in the eyes of the bank. And we tried to get a, uh, mortgage from the banks. Why, they, uh, uh, practically laughed us and they said, "You've got no collateral, uh, whatsoever."

Arthur (Art) Peppin (27:35):
So, uh, w- we went after the powers that be and, uh, tried to get them to sell us the land, but they wouldn't, uh, they wouldn't sell it to us, so... But they said eventually, they would buy it from us. And, uh, well, I say eventually now. It really was in 1951. So they sent up appraisers that looked over the, uh, uh, places and, uh, gave us a very fair, uh, offer, uh, which, uh, we all accepted. And, uh, then we went at, uh, houses back.

Jack Gallin (28:09):
Well, that was at that point the interior government became the owners of those houses, as well as the... Well, they a- had always owned the land that they sat on.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (28:18):

Jack Gallin (28:19):
And you rented from them...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (28:20):
We, we rented...

Jack Gallin (28:21):
...and continued to live there as if it was in your house or, uh...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (28:24):
That's right. Yeah. Yeah, just as if we were, we were just renting.

Jack Gallin (28:26):

Arthur (Art) Peppin (28:28):
Uh, just renting from them. Uh...

Jack Gallin (28:32):
I suppose it was big rents in those days.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (28:35):
Well, it was based on the money that we had got.

Jack Gallin (28:37):

Arthur (Art) Peppin (28:38):
And, uh, actually, we got $8100.00 for our houses and, uh, then the, uh, rent, I think, was only $20.00, uh, a month or something like that. Uh, which, uh, wasn't very much, but it was a percentage of the, uh, amount of money that we had got. So gradually, uh, uh, our people started to move away, uh, from there and went, uh, and bought other houses, uh, eh, in and around the, uh, sort of the college area.

Jack Gallin (29:08):
So in the fullness of time, tho- those houses and they land they sit on, uh, became the property of the University of Guelph, uh, when the university was formed, and are still there, but are used for grad students or, um...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (29:24):
Yes. And I believe there were some [crosstalk]...

Jack Gallin (29:26):
...visiting professors or whatever.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (29:29):

Jack Gallin (29:30):
The, the ... But the houses themselves are still there and being used.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (29:33):
And looked after by the university. [crosstalk]...

Jack Gallin (29:35):
And somewhere along the line, you, uh, purchased a lot, uh, elsewhere.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (29:40):
Yes, I, we purchased a lot in 1951 on Caledonia Street and, uh, we didn't build until, uh, uh, OAC became part of the University of Guelph and we decided perhaps we better have our own place and we'd never be sorry to, cause we have a nice place in Caledonia near the, uh, uh, near the university, and I was able to, uh, eh, walk to work, uh, from here, just the same as I had, uh, from, uh, College Crescent.

Jack Gallin (30:13):
What went on beginning in 1952?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (30:18):
Well, in 1952 was when I came on, uh, with the Department of Public Relations, uh, uh, at the OAC and, uh, eh, I was in charge of, uh, uh, various things, as I've done from then until 1964. Uh, everything, uh, you know, went along as it should have. But in '64, when the university were starting to take over, why, uh, the information branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, uh, decided to take over, uh, most of what was then the, uh, public relations department, including photography, exhibits, motion pictures, television, uh, and, uh, my own distribution and printing, uh, section. So we became part of the information branch under Brad Schneller and, uh... [crosstalk].

Jack Gallin (31:15):
Still, still located at Guelph?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (31:17):
Still located at Guelph, but, uh, with our headquarters, uh, at, uh, Bloor and Bay, uh, in Toronto.

Jack Gallin (31:26):
What did those duties consist of? Uh...

Arthur (Art) Peppin (31:29):
Well, all during that time, why, I was, uh, a supervisor, uh, of the distribution division and the graphic arts division. And, uh, we looked after all of the, uh, uh, printing of, uh, circulars, and leaflets, and the books for, uh, anybody and everybody, uh, on the campus, actually, including, uh, including what was the OAC at that time. We did this for the OAC and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food until the university took over. Uh, then, uh, we, uh, no longer looked after, uh, this, uh, for the university. The university got us, um, uh, set up.

Jack Gallin (32:19):
And from then on?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (32:21):
Yeah. Well, uh, in 1969, uh, I answered an adverse, an advertisement for the, uh, Agricultural and Horticultural Society's branch, uh, to become a, an assistant director. Uh, and I was successful in that, so I moved, eh, uh, rather, I didn't move my family, but, uh, I was, uh, appointed in October of 1969 and, uh, from then on, I was, uh, uh, all over the province with the agricultural society's branch and the international plowing match and farm machine show.

Jack Gallin (33:00):
Your office in Toronto. You essentially commuted from Guelph to Toronto every day.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (33:05):
Uh, eh, if I wasn't going to Toronto, I, I was going somewhere else, uh, for meetings because, uh, uh, all of these, uh, agriculture and horticulture societies had, uh, were in districts, and there were about 16 of them in each, uh, uh, 16 in each, in, areas of the province. And, uh, we essentially went and looked after, uh, uh, any problems that they were having. Eh, we would go to the directors' meetings, uh, district meetings and, uh, uh, try to help any of these people out. And this is the same thing as the plowing match and farm machinery show, which, uh, worked on a five year basis whereby we uh, uh, picked the land, uh, where the site was gonna be held in a particular county and, uh, and then, for the next five years, we worked with the local committee and, uh, until such time as the plowing match was held.

Jack Gallin (34:05):
Art, you've been involved, and your father before you in, in Canadian agriculture and various aspects of it. Uh, PEI agriculture, Ontario agriculture for a long, long time. Uh, do you have any observations on your time spent, uh, over those years and, uh, the progress of agriculture, perhaps? Or anything you'd like to say about it?

Arthur (Art) Peppin (34:32):
Well, eh, that's, that's a big question. Uh, I have always felt that I was very, very lucky, uh, to have got into agriculture. Uh, my dad ran a tight ship, as the saying goes, uh, with the seed potato certification on PEI, was highly respected, uh, down there. I know that. And, um, I have always found, I found then when I, dealing with the other in- uh, potato inspectors, of which I was for, uh, uh, one summer, uh, that they were very, very fine people. And when I worked, uh, particularly in the last few years, when I was working with the ag and hort society's branch, uh, I met some of the finest people in the world and, uh, they were good, uh, they were good to us, uh, it was a, a joy to go to work and, uh, mind you, uh, we always said that we worked hard and we played hard.

Arthur (Art) Peppin (35:47):
And, uh, uh, but I couldn't speak anymore highly, uh, than to the various people that we met, uh, over the years, uh, in the, uh, OMAF. And I, I think that that's about all that I can say about it. But, uh, I will say one little thing. We still get together, a group from the plowing match, a group of former, uh, presidents of the plowing match. We get together each fall, uh, just to keep track of each other and, uh, enjoy each other's company, uh, go out for dinner, and, uh, just generally have a good time. We look forward to this each year. We get invited, uh, back each year to the, uh, plowing match and to the, uh, uh, luncheon and the, uh, plowing match meetings we- which will be held very soon, not in the middle of, uh, February. And, uh, we're looking forward to seeing, uh, a lot of the friends that we made over those years.

Jack Gallin (36:53):
Thank you very much for doing this, Art. Uh, this has been a, an interview, uh, with Arthur J Peppin, uh, conducted for the, um, Oral History Group of the, uh, uh, Alumni in Action, uh, committee, uh, conducted by Jack Gallin.