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End of an era as Pascoe's Machine Works closes

Pascoe's Machine Works, which has been in the Ozog family since 1963, closed its doors on Dec. 31.

It was a bittersweet end of 2018 for the Ozog family and the end of an era in Moose Jaw.

December 31 was the last day of business at Pascoe's Machine Works on High Street West. Cecil Frank Ozog bought the business on January 1, 1963 and has owned it ever since. His sons Larry and Ron have been running the business, but decided to retire at the end of the year.

"It just felt like it was time. Forty-seven years full time in a job is more than a lifetime," said Larry Ozog.

The Ozog family has ties to the store going back generations. Cec's first pay stub from Roman's Machine & Repair Co. -- as it was called then -- is still in the top drawer of the desk in the main office. He was paid 40 cents an hour for the week of June 23, 1945.

The original shop was located at the current site of Safeway. By time the Ozogs were involved the shop had relocated to 412 High St. W. They moved to their current location at 353 High St. W. in 1985.

When Pascoe bought out his partner in the 1950s, he changed the name of the shop to his surname.

Larry and Ron have been working in the shop since they were kids in the 1960s.

"We've been cleaning the shop up ever since he bought it," Ozog said. "We've been working summers since the end of Grade 12, so around 1971 we pretty much started full time."

The stock in the front of the shop was starting to thin in its final week of operation, but the stream of well-wishers was thick and steady to the small office. 

"Some of them have been coming in and wishing us good luck and saying goodbye and it's kind of sad at both ends," Larry said. "The other day there were five or six of them in at the same time saying goodbye and wishing us luck.

"We've met some very nice people over the years."

In the back part of the shop, some of the machines are more than 80 years old. Larry is 66 and Ron is 65 and both have been at least helping out at the shop for 56 years.

Larry said that working in the shop growing up, he never really contemplated not working in the shop and in the family business. He said what he enjoyed the most about working at Pascoe's was helping people and fixing their broken parts.

The brothers are looking forward to retirement, though with a tinge of sadness leaving the shop that was their home for most of their lives and the loyal customers they've seen frequently over the decades.

So what does the future hold?

"My brother has some projects he's wanted to do for years and me, I'm not sure," said Larry who added that his brother has "always played around with vehicles" and will now have more time to spend on some of those projects.

Cec Ozog, who will be 92 in March, still owns the business and Larry said it's still undecided right now what's going to happen with the building and the business going forward.

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