Welcome to the
Everett Lee story


At a Plant Party
Claybank Brick Plant Site


Everett Lee (Setter) loading green brick into a Kiln.
Claybank Brick Plant Site


by Beth Akins
(photo: Everett on the left)

Born on a farm south of Avonlea, Saskatchewan in 1931 Everett helped his Dad until he started working at the Claybank Brick Plant in 1952.

When Everett first started at the Plant the roads were too poor to travel back and forth, so he boarded at the Bunk house. In 1956 he started boarding with Ridgeway's in Avonlea for the winters and drove to work with Dick Clarke, John Russell, as well as others that also worked at the Plant.

His first job at the Brick Plant was working on the cleaning screen and filling bags with fire clay and sewing them up. After a time he worked loading the kilns as a Setter. A Setter had to take each brick off the hand car and set it in a certain pattern in the kiln in order to ensure even firing. In this particular job you were paid by the piece and if you were quick and a hard worker you could make more money than hourly paid workers. Everett had found his niche, he was always energetic and liked hard work so he stayed at this same job for his remaining years at the Plant.

Everett's fingers were always raw and cracked from handling the bricks and the adhesive tape that he used to wrap his fingers and hands in was a large household expense. In 1959, Everett and I were married (Beth Sorenson) and we moved into a house one mile south of Avonlea. Shortly after this move Everett took over his father's farm and now was not only working days at the Brick Plant but also a better part of the night at home. In 1969 we purchased additional land and moved to a farm 31/2 miles west of Avonlea and a bit closer to the Plant.

The lunches I packed for Everett were a great source of amusement for the men at the Plant. Most lunches consisted of six to eight sandwiches and one dessert but Everett's lunches were one sandwich, a chocolate bar and 6 or more desserts. Needless to say most of my time was spent baking! It was a wonder he stayed so thin but I would guess it was all that hard physical work.

Everett enjoyed the camaraderie of the men at the Plant, the visiting, card and poker games before work and during breaks. Sometimes he got lucky and would come home with a pocket full of quarters and dollar bills. A lot of the men at the Plant also farmed and Dick Clarke commented at one time that the men see more of each other than they do of their own wives. I, as well as other 'Plant wives', can vouch for that!

Everett had a great love of sports, he travelled to all the neighbouring towns playing ball in the summer and hockey in the winter. In order to leave work early, and since he did piece work, he would drive himself extra hard to set the required amount of brick in a kiln. I always found it strange that it was possible to arrange to leave work early for a Sports Day but not possible if your wife was having a baby or had to chase our straying cattle for the better part of a day. I became an excellent cattle herder after a time. By the time our son Bill was old enough to wear skates it had become easier for Everett to take a day off. He surely loved his sports.

Everett and I had three children, Terri, Cheryl and Bill, He worked at the Brick Plant for 32 years and passed away in 1984 after a courageous battle with cancer.


Setting brick in a kiln 1972. L to R: Everett Lee and Elmer Ziola.
Claybank Brick Plant Site


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