Prince Edward County fisherman hands family business to Syrian refugee


    A veteran fisherman from Prince Edward County is handing the reins of his firm over to a 21-year-old Syrian newcomer in an effort to hold the one fish processing operation left within the county alive. 

    Kendall Dewey, 66, was desperately searching for somebody to take over the business fishing business that had been in his family for 4 generations.

    If Dewey Fisheries closed, outlets and eating places within the space could possibly be left with out a supply of native seafood. So Dewey contacted employment businesses and scouted individuals domestically who might need an curiosity.

    His search was falling quick till he met ​Slieman al-Jasem, a refugee from Syria who’d by no means cleaned a fish earlier than — however had a knack for studying shortly and a need to run his personal firm. 

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    “He had labored in Lebanon, beginning at a really early age — 13 or 14 years outdated — at a stone quarry, making an attempt to earn cash for his family,” Dewey informed CBC Radio’s Ontario Morning final week.

    “He had somewhat nasty experiences in Lebanon working for individuals. And he noticed this as a possibility to have his personal business and never work for anyone else.”

    ‘Getting too outdated’

    Dewey and his spouse Joanne had been beginning their days earlier than daybreak, seven days per week. They’d been spending greater than 70 hours every week laying and hauling traps, weighing and processing the each day catch and assembly with suppliers and consumers.

    Final 12 months, Dewey stated, they determined they had been “getting too outdated” and needed to retire.

    “We did contact authorities employment businesses and mainly stated [that] we’ve got… a ready-made occupation, a job, we’ve got amenities that can be utilized till somebody can get on their toes,” he informed Ontario Morning.

    “They weren’t of any help.”

    Passing on the torch 

    The family met al-Jasem at an area diner, the place they watched a documentary about his life.

    After a couple of extra conferences, they selected him as their inheritor to the business. 

    Now al-Jasem is studying how to scale and fillet the fish, and might finally take over the fishing license as properly. In just some days, Dewey stated, al-Jasem grew to become sooner than he was at processing the catch.

    “I did not need to see [our company’s] explicit worth to the general fishery, what’s left of it anyhow, misplaced,” Dewey stated.

    “He is carrying it on — and I hope he continues to do it sooner or later.”



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