Since its inception in late 1972, the Ste. Anne Natural Gas Co-op Ltd. has been serving natural gas to residents in the County of Lac Ste. Anne and expanded to several other counties. It all started with an Onoway hog farmer Henry Tomlinson who just wanted gas service. Tomlinson had been trying to get gas since the 1960's with no success even when Northwestern laid pipeline within three miles of his farm.
For five years he and a handful of neighbors asked Northwestern to be connected and each year they were told it was not "economically feasible". In early 1972 Tomlinson and his friends contacted everyone within 14 miles to inquire about interest in gas service and ended up plotting more than 200 service locations on a map. Copies of this map were delivered to three gas providers with hopes of being connected. Superior Natural Gas Distribution responded with a rate per hook up and a meeting ensued at the Onoway Community Hall.
Among the 200 that showed up was a co-op enthusiast by the name of Helmut Entrup who introduced the idea of creating a co-op instead of going with Superior. A vote occurred right away to form a co-op and a provisional board of 24 directors was elected; Tomlinson was made Chairman. The directors met with Harold Webber who explained the basics of co-ops and officially incorporated them. Engineers were then hired to design and oversee construction.
Directors then fanned out signing up members who each paid a membership fee and a fee to cover the cost of engineering and eventually signed contracts. Construction began in September 1972 and the pressure was on to finish as anti-co-op pressure was being put on the government.
Tomlinson had it built like a railroad, the surveyors up front staking a course for pipe and the plow following. Construction pushed on through a bitterly cold winter with crews made up of 40 men who burned coal and straw to thaw the frozen ground and worked the backhoes, bulldozers, cats and plows. By February 1973 the biggest rural gas distribution system in Alberta was complete.
SANG Staff 2016
With 23 full time employees and nine Board Members, Ste. Anne Natural Gas Co-op is the largest rural gas distribution system in Alberta. As a company we strive to provide outstanding service and the lowest possible rates to our members.
Kevin Ouderkirk – Chief Executive Officer of SANG
Born and raised near Caroline, AB. Kevin started to work in the Gas Co-ops in 1988.
He and his family moved to Onoway in 1997 to work for Ste Anne as Operations Supervisor and then Operations Manager.
In 2014 he was hired as the new General Manager for SANG Gas Co-op.
He is a Journeyman Gasfitter, Gas Utility Operator and a Master Instructor.
Kevin is fortunate to be married to his best friend, Amy and they have two children Sydney and Zane.
Russ Purdy, B.Sc.
2nd Vice Chairman, Chairman of Policies & Governance Committee
Years of Service: 5
1st Vice Chairman of the Board, Secretary/Treasure
Years of Service: 3