P.W. Sims in 1955
Photo: Michael Assayag
Sims joined Price Brothers & Company Limited
during the great depression in the 1930s.
Although this pulp and paper company had
recently fi nanced an imposing new art deco
skyscraper in the old city, the cornerstone
was laid on the day of the stock market crash.
Consequently, Sims faced many challenges as
the new Vice President of Finance.
“He was very strict,” recalls former employee
Ronald Blair, “he wanted a copy of every letter
that went outside the company. If there
was any grammatical or spelling mistake, the
error was circled and returned to the sender.
Everyone junior to him was scared of him, but
I had a grudging respect for him.” Sims had a
reputation for being upright. His methodical
work helped steer the company clear of looming
bankruptcy. Price Brothers went through
several mergers to fi nally become Abitibi
Consolidated in 1997, the largest producer of
newsprint in the world.
Sims amassed a considerable fortune throughout
his life and was an astute investor. He
remained a bachelor, living alone in the Montcalm
ward on Grande Allée. Upon his death in
1987, he left a sum to a cousin in England who
was his only living relative, with most of the
rest going to Citadel. This major bequest of
1.2 million dollars increased the foundation’s
fi nancial strength in a considerable way.