Memorable Manitobans: Peter Pakosh (1911-1999)
Born at Canora, Saskatchewan on 11 June 1911, second-eldest of twelve children of Polish immigrants Emil and Claudia Pakosz, his father paid a cattle buyer $5 to take his son to Winnipeg where he pursued studies in engineering. After a short period as a tool designer for Massey-Harris in Toronto, in 1964 he founded the Versatile Manufacturing Company with his brother-in-law Roy Robinson. The business began with a grain auger and diversified into sprayers, swathers, tractors, and other farm equipment. By 1978, the Winnipeg-based firm had over 1,000 employees and more than $100 million in annual sales. The firm was the first to mass-produce articulated four-wheel-drive tractors. In 1993, he retired to Freeport, Bahamas where he died on 20 February 1999. He was inducted posthumously into the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame.
“Versatile Manufacturing Ltd.,” Winnipeg Free Press, 7 March 1964, page 61.
“Farm boy helped found Versatile,” Winnipeg Free Press, 23 February 1999, page 19.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 23 February 1999, page 37.
Versatile Tractors [www.versatile-tractors.com], The Internet Archive.
We thank Don Wadge for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 30 November 2019
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