Wednesday March 04, 2015

Timmins dad finds cereal box message from factory workers

The last box of cereal produced at Kellogg's London, Ontario factory, signed by the workers who made it. It was bought by Stephane Gaudette in Timmins, Ontario.

The last box of cereal produced at Kellogg's London, Ontario factory, signed by the workers who made it. It was bought by Stephane Gaudette in Timmins, Ontario. (Stephane Gaudette)

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Stephane Gaudette discovers a hand-written message from three workers in London, Ontario explaining his is the last box of cereal produced at the now-shuttered plant.

Gaudette first noticed something unusual before he even opened his Frosted Flakes. "Please read the bag" was scrawled in black marker across the top.

Last Frosted Flakes Family

The Gaudette Family with the last Canadian-made box of Kellogg's cereal. From left to right: Maxime, Lyanne, Jacynthe and Stephane. (Stephane Gaudette)

He was immediately intrigued, but also a little nervous that perhaps someone had tampered with his cereal.

"When I saw the message, my emotions started changing," Gaudette tells As It Happens host Carol Off. "It lead to a certain sadness and awe, in a sense. It was a very odd feeling because I realized the significance of [the package]."

On the bag inside the box, a note explained that the cereal was the final one off the line at the factory in London, Ontario when it closed on December 5, 2014.

Last Frosted Flakes close up

Three workers at the Kellogg's factory in London, Ontario, Mike Cascadden, Ray Gonsalvez and Frasier McAuley, wrote a message on the plant's last bag of cereal, along with their years of service. (Stephane Gaudette)

There were three names on the bag, but Gaudette couldn't make them out, except that one worker was named Mike. But he could see that they had worked at Kellogg's a long time -- one for 24 years, one for 29 and one for 28.

"The next thing that pops into your mind is 'Do you open the bag?' Then I said, 'No, there's some significance to this," Gaudette says. "I had toast instead."

He then contacted The London Free Press and a reporter there tracked down the trio -- Mike Cascadden, Ray Gonsalvez and Frasier McAuley.

Kellogg's Closing 20141222

Discarded work boots rest in front of the Kellogg's Canada sign at the Kellogg's plant in London, Ont., on Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. The staff gathered one last time for a lunch on the final day of work, as the plant closes after a 107 year history of producing cereal. THE CANADIAN PRESS//Dave Chidley (The Canadian Press)

Cascadden says Kellogg's was in his family's DNA. Four generations worked there. He had 24 years of service.

"I thought that was very moving," Guadette says. He hopes to meet the men soon.

Gaudette is not sure what he'll do with his piece of Canadian history. He and his wife are both teachers. So, for now, the family members are each taking the box to their schools to show the students. He says it is a real conversation piece.