Charlie Scranton remembered as icon of agriculture industry

Jim Day
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Charlie Scranton

It is doubtful Charlie Scranton had any harsh critics.

He was, observes P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture president Alvin Keenan, a gentleman held in high esteem.

“There is no question he was an icon of the community and the agriculture industry,’’ says Keenan.

“He was respected by all. He carried himself very well.’’

The Stratford resident died Tuesday at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. He was 97.

Familiar in his signature black hat, Scranton was a welcome sight for more than 35 years serving as announcer of the annual P.E.I. Easter Beef Show and Sale.

“He was just a genuine person — hard working, expressive in his views,’’ says Malpeque MP Wayne Easter, who has served as parliamentary secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food and was for years the national president of the National Farmers Union before entering political office.

“He had a love for the agriculture industry and in particular the beef industry and always a joy to meet,’’ Esater adds.

“Whether it was at the Easter Beef Show or wherever it was, he was the character often with the cowboy hat on and just a genuinely great guy and a spokesman for the industry in so many ways. And he expressed that love for the industry.’’

Born in Manchester, N.S. in 1916, Charles Stewart Scranton graduated from Guysborough Academy and then studied agriculture at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. He moved to Prince Edward Island in 1940.

After serving in the Armed Forces during the Second World War, Scranton worked for the federal government in the Department of Agriculture serving as the inspector in charge of the poultry division in P.E.I.

Scranton was well recognized for his contributions to agriculture.

He was elected to the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1981, served as president of the Canadian Hereford Association in 1983 and was later inducted into its honour roll.

In 1989, the Hereford show at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto was named in his honour. The provincial exhibition in Charlottetown presented him with a plaque for 50 years of meritorious service to the exhibition.

He was an honourary member of Doctor of Laws from UPEI. He also became a member of the Order of Canada in 2006.

Scranton also made a mark outside of his illustrious agricultural career as co-founder of Camp Seggie in Rice Point, one of the largest Baptist camps in Atlantic Canada.

Scranton’s wife of 63 years, Helen Bradford MacKenn, passed away in 2001. He is survived by sons Blair and Bob.

Visitation is Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Belvedere Funeral Home in Charlottetown. His funeral will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at First United Baptist Church in Charlottetown.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Agricultural College, P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Guysborough Academy Department of Agriculture Canadian Hereford Association Royal Agricultural First United Baptist Church

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Stratford, Farmers Union Manchester Prince Edward Island Toronto Canada Rice Point

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