Inducted: October 30, 1991
Ernest M. Warwick was an agricultural entrepreneur who shipped Kent hybrid corn and hogs to Iron Curtain countries, decades before glasnost penetrated the barrier between East and West.
Mr. Warwick was born in Blenheim, the son of Mr. and Mrs. T. C. Warwick. He attended Blenheim Public School, and went on to high school briefly before he quit to start work. As a boy, he worked with Blenheim's woodcutting crew at Rondeau Provincial Park.
From an early age, he demonstrated his determination to blaze new trails in farm marketing, and he was interested in the possibilities of hybrid corn. Mr. Warwick made his first shipment of hybrid corn to Russia in 1955. Then, because he was determined to see the situation there firsthand, he visited the U.S.S.R. in 1956, and came home convinced there were potential markets in East Europe.
Mr. Warwick was instrumental in the sale of $l million in Canadian agricultural products to Romania in March, 1960, and his Landrace pigs found a market there. He was President of Cangro Export Ltd.
Mr. Warwick was also the owner of Warwick Hybrid Farms, Warwick Seed Company Ltd. and T. C. Warwick and Son Ltd. His extensive work with hybrids and seeds was recognized when the Canadian Seed Growers' Association named him a Robertson Associate.
Mr. Warwick had far-reaching business interests. He was the President of Huron Construction; and a Director of the Lake Erie Underwater Developers Ltd., of Consolidated West Petroleum and of Detroit River Construction.
Mr. Warwick found time in a busy life for community and fraternal organizations. He was a member of Blenheim District High School Board, a Past President of Blenheim Rotary; a member of London Mocha Shrine and of Blenheim Masonic Lodge 274.
Mr. Warwick married the former Wilhemina Mackay, and there are two daughters, Jo-Anne, of Toronto, and Mrs. Anthony (Janet) Elliott, Mount Clemens, Michigan.
Mr. Warwick left many stories of a colourful life behind. On one occasion he bet G.C. Nicholls that the picture of King Edward could not be moved from the hotel named for him in Toronto to the Royal York. He lost the bet only after staff at both hotels had been bribed to help win, or lose the wager.
One associate said of him, "Ernie Warwick never did anything half-way. He was totally committed to anything he did, and quite often, agriculture benefitted."