|Presentation of an Honorary Degree to Morris, G., 1980 (Photograph Collection, A-6640)|
Convocation date: May 15, 1980
Discipline / contribution: agricultural machinery ; invention, design & manufacturing
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you George Henry Morris.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
In 1902, Mr. Morris' mother and father came from the British Isles to the Northwest Territories, via the Argentine. They settled on a farm near what later became the village of Bangor, near the present city of Yorkton.
Like so many Saskatchewan Pioneers, George Morris was not able to attend the Llewelyn one room country school after completing grade six. He farmed with his father until 1924 and then went to Winnipeg and took a course in motor mechanics, and then returned to Bangor to open an implement agency with his brother.
Mr. Morris was already extremely mechanically inclined, when a farmer friend came to him with the problem of the rod in his weeder being bent almost every time it contacted a stone in the soil. Mr. Morris designed and later patented an automatic trip device which allowed the machine to do excellent work in stony land. This led to the founding of the Morris-Rod Weeder Company in 1930.
From that small beginning and through those difficult years known as "The Dirty Thirties", and with George Morris' ingenuity and guidance, the company has grown. There are now two plants in Yorkton; one in Ortonville, Minnesota; one in Minot, North Dakota; and a recently purchased plant in Minnedosa, Manitoba. Including management and executive staff, the company now has 810 employees.
As well as the now widely accepted Morris-Rod Weeder, Mr. Morris and his staff have a relatively new seeding machine, a popular cultivator and a chisel plow nearly 50 feet in width to be drawn by mammoth four wheel drive tractors.
Realizing the need for all prairie implement manufacturers to discuss their objectives and common problems, Mr. Morris organized The Prairie Implement Manufacturers Association (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) and was elected the first President in 1970. He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1977.
Some of the offices he now holds are:
- Director of the Saskatchewan Heart Foundation
- Director of the Canadian Schizophrenic Foundation
- Honorary Life Member of the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists
- Honorary Life Member of Yorkton Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Morris has spent his time in quiet competence, inventing, designing and manufacturing farm machinery to control weeds, conserve moisture and minimize soil erosion in order to obtain maximum production at minimum cost while maintaining soil fertility.
Throughout his career, he has always maintained a deep concern for people.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you George Henry Morris and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.
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