Paul Albrechtsen and Hans Christian Andersen were both born on the island of Fyn, in the City of Odense, Denmark. The story of Mr Albrechtsen's success in Canada, with the founding of Paul's Hauling Ltd. in 1956, is as interesting as any fairy-tale by Mr Andersen. The magic of fairy tales, though, was replaced by the tireless hard work and business acumen that Mr Albrechtsen has exhibited.
The remarkable story of Paul Albrechtsen began during the war at 12 years old when every other day he alternated between going to school and hauling peat moss on a commercial basis with a horse and wagon. When he finished school, he worked as a diesel mechanic. After completing his compulsory service in the Danish army, he decided he would like to see the rest of the world, so at the tender age of 24 he immigrated to Canada arriving here in February, 1954.
Mr Albrechtsen feels, indeed, very fortunate to have ended up in Manitoba. After searching for a job in Winnipeg and with his skills in English leaving much to be desired, he managed to find a job in Vlrden, Manitoba, as a mechanic for 90 cents an hour. In his first year, he bought a dilapidated truck to supply water to the drilling sites. He repaired it and found a driver. When his new employee quit, he drove the truck himself while maintaining his job as a field mechanic and learning English on the side.
He learned to survive as long as 70 hours without sleep in a 120 hour work week. By living in tool sheds, he saved enough to buy a second truck and, by 1957, he owned six trucks, specializing in moving salt water and crude oil. Paul's Hauling Ltd. had been incorporated the previous year.
Today Mr Albrechtsen owns a diversified group of companies, primarily in transportation and resort development. He owns a fleet of 900 tractors and 2,500 trailers operating out of approximately 54 terminals across Canada and the U.S.A. and employs 3,000 people. His group of interlocking transport companies provide both specialized bulk hauling of commodities as well as general freight and straight load operation. Included in Mr Albrechtsen's group are such companies as Paul's Hauling Ltd., Westcan Bulk Transport Ltd., Elkhorn Ranch & Resort and Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center in Breckinridge, Colorado, just to name a few.
Mr Albrechtsen is also a trained pilot. When he began flying jets, Canada would not permit one pilot to fly solo in a business jet. At his own expense he went to Ottawa to convince Transport Canada that single pilot jet flight was practical and safe. He became the first Canadian licensed for single pilot operation of jet business aircraft. These days pilots fly his jet, but he still finds it an invaluable way to manage a company that covers such a wide area.
In the 1970's Paul began pursuing a number of sports activities, doing so with the same zest and determination as he ran his businesses. He did a great deal of skiing for many years and it was during the time he spent in Colorado: that he became involved in the resort business. In later years, he has taken up the game of golf quite seriously having memberships in a number of Canadian and United States locations.
He has been married twice. With his first wife, Peggy (now deceased), he has three sons and a daughter. Paul and his second wife, Mary Lou have two sons.
Biography Update: Four of Paul's sons are graduates of St Paul's: Christopher '83, Robert '85, Scott '00 and David '02.