A Kamsack resident known as “the elder statesman of Saskatchewan earthmoving,” is the 2014 recipient of the Garden of Saskatchewan Citizenship Ring.
Casimir Broda, founder of the Broda Group of Companies and known for the hard work and integrity that have been the hallmarks of his life and the legacy of the Broda Group of Companies, was presented with the ring by Kamsack Mayor Rod Gardner on Saturday during a family reception.
Born May 11, 1929 in Goodeve to Joe and Sophie Broda, Casimir was the third eldest of nine children. On November 6, 1952, he married Marie Kerluke. The couple has three children: Gordie, Shannon and Robbie.
In his younger years, Broda spent time working on the family farm but by the late 1940s and early 1950s, he was working in bush camps in northern Ontario, said a biography that his family had prepared.
“It was in 1957 when Cas purchased his first gravel truck which was the beginning of Broda Construction and our current Broda Group of Companies,” the biography says. “Cas’s construction business took him all over the place. His business became very strong in crushing and aggregate processing.
“Many years were spent in southern Saskatchewan crushing and gravelling roads for various rural municipalities. In the mid 1970s a lot of the work was in northern Manitoba. In the Late 1970s Cas began crushing rock ballast for the railways, a business relationship which we still maintain today, 33 years later.
“Under Cas’s leadership and guidance, the current Broda Group of Companies has grown to become one of Saskatchewan’s, and western Canada’s, larger construction companies,” the biography says. “We perform work all over western Canada with a very strong presence right here in Saskatchewan. The company has tackled many tough projects and has helped with the growth and development of this province with a strong presence in the mining industry, in the Saskatchewan north building roads and opening up areas for new development.”
The number of the company’s employees has grown to a peak of over 400 and the company continues to grow, it said.
“Cas was always an innovator and believed there was always a better way to do things. He constantly looked for ways to improve things and get better. The company growth is a testament to that.
“Cas is well known throughout the entire province through the many relationships developed and he has maintained a very strong and credible reputation as a hard working and honest Saskatchewan businessman.”
The company’s recent involvement and success with The Big Dig project was a testament to the values instilled into the company by Cas: hard work, persistence, production, pride of workmanship and “get the job done on time and do it right.”
“Cas maintained a high standard of integrity in the business and in family life as well,” it said. “Cas has a strong Catholic faith and religious values that he lives every day.
“He has been a big supporter of our church and various church projects over the years and has been an active member of the Knights of Columbus for over 35 years.
“Cas has been a very strong supporter of community growth and development.”
Over the years many community projects had involvement by Broda. This included the donation of equipment usage to assist with getting a project off the ground, donation of concrete material and supplies, donation of personal time to be on committees to kick start and organize a project, and sometimes a monetary donation.
Broda was a big part of getting a swimming pool in Kamsack by supplying concrete and materials, it said. He was a big part of a skating rink and recreation complex being built in Kamsack with equipment usage and gravel materials donated. He helped to get the Duck Mountain Ski Hill started with equipment donation and the company has helped again over the years.
Broda donated time, equipment and materials to beautify a river park in Kamsack which the town has now named the Broda Park, it said. When Eaglestone Lodge was at risk of closing due to poor roof structure, Broda stepped up and donated the funds to refurbish the roof to keep the lodge open. He has also donated equipment and funds to help get a paved airstrip in Kamsack.
Broda has tried to assist and help many communities in which his company has worked in over the years, it said. There have been many times Broda has helped with a project or a donation as a way of leaving a positive mark or impression on that community. Whether it was free loads of gravel or sponsorship of local events, he always tried to help.
“Cas’s philosophy of helping and giving back to the community is deeply instilled in the corporate philosophy of our current business practice,” it said. “Every year Cas and the business continue to participate in various efforts, small and large, to assist with community growth and development: giving back to the community is important.
“In 1974 Cas won the Most Outstanding Citizen Award in Kamsack for his various efforts in supporting the community,” it said. “Kamsack is a better community as a result of the various projects that Cas assisted to become a part of the community.”
Broda has stayed connected to his farming roots as well. In approximately 1975, Broda purchased some farm land and since then the farming operation has grown into a successful modern farming operation. He enjoys the farm and the Saskatchewan tradition and satisfaction of what it creates every year.
He says he enjoys the farming cycle of planting a crop, watching it grow, the harvest and the replenishment of the land so it is ready for seeding again in the spring.