MHS Centennial Organization: North West Commercial Travellers’ Association of Canada
10 October 1882 - this was the date when a meeting was held at the old Grand Union Hotel in Winnipeg, and which comprised some of the most prominent wholesale jobbers and travellers of western Canada, who formed themselves into an Association called the North West Commercial Travellers’ Association of Canada, with the object of securing preferential rates and privileges from railway, steamboat, insurance, and telegraph companies, hotels etc. also for the interchange of valuable information of special interest to commercial men.
From the time of the above momentous occasion, this Association grew steadily both numerically and financially, so that by the year 1890 it had reached such a strong financial standing that it was able to inaugurate its first Mortuary Benefit system, and in addition, was able to reinsure its members against accidental death to the extent of $1,000 per member, with a small weekly indemnity covering disability up to 72 weeks.
One hundred and twenty two years later, the Association is still strong numerically and financially, providing many modern day benefits similar to its original program. In 2004, the Association negotiated discounts for airline tickets, rental cars, group rates for a variety of insurance programs from life to homeowners plans, long distance, toll-free, and cellular communication, hotels, gas and other car care services, clothing, financial and foreign exchange, as well as continuing its Mortuary Benefit program that pays out approximately $500,000 per year to families of deceased travellers.
An MHS Centennial Organization Award was presented to the North West Commercial Travellers Association by Jacqueline Friesen on 16 April 2004.
The North West Commercial Travellers Association ceased operations in early 2014.
General Secretaries / General Managers
“J. E. Holland is elected head of Travellers,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 November 1922, page 3.
100th Anniversary: “Nothing Happens Until a Sale is Made” by John McWilliams, Winnipeg: North West Commercial Travellers Association of Canada, circa 1982.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 10 November 2022