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Lake and Lake, a Newfoundland family firm, spans several centuries of Newfoundland history. The Lakes came to Fortune Bay from England in the 1700s. Various branches of the family who emigrated to the island fished, outfitted banking schooners, and engaged in businesses that included a boot and shoe factory, a canning enterprise, and a furniture store in the town of Fortune.
In 1908, Harold Bertram (H.B.) Clyde Lake established a business with A.W. Lake under the name of Lake and Lake. A.W.'s brother, Harry, joined the company after 1912. The Lakes were brokers and commission agents who operated a large general store and outfitted both inshore and Grand Banks fishermen. Initially the Lake firm also owned and operated a fleet of banking schooners, including the Eileen Lake, Alcyone, Margaret Lake, Russell Lake, Spencer Lake, Dorothy F. Sarty, and the W.E. Knock. Lake and Lake were sub-agents for Liverpool, London, and Globe Insurance Co. and Lloyd's of London.
In 1932, H.B. Clyde Lake set up a salt fish exporting business in St. John's (H.B. Clyde Lake Ltd.) As an exporter, the firm paid cash for the outport storekeepers' fish and sold them salt at near cost to retain clients. H.B. Clyde Lake Ltd. prospered even in the declining years of the salt fish trade, importing salt from Spain and the Turks and Caicos Islands and exporting fish to countries all over the world. By the mid-1940s, the company was the single largest salt fish exporting firm in Newfoundland.
When frozen fish began to displace the saltfish industry in the late 1940s, H.B. Clyde Lake Ltd., now managed by Lake's son Spencer, diversified and expanded its operations. The company acquired a processing plant at Gaultois (1952), along with Bonavista Cold Storage Ltd. (with plants at Bonavista, Grand Bank, and Fermeuse), Fortune Fisheries Ltd., and a frozen fish plant at Englee. In 1984, after the firm was reorganized as the Lake Group, the industry restructured and the Lake plants were acquired by Fishery Products International (FPI).
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