Ulli Pieplow of Paisley

Ulli Pieplow of Paisley

Ask Ulli Pieplow of Paisley how he happened to come to Bruce County and he lights up with excitement ... and to say it was serendipitous is closer to the truth.

Pieplow grew up in the cosmopolitan city of Hamburg, Germany and attended University in Kiel where he studied a wide range of subjects, including agriculture and historic languages, such as Greek and Latin.  It was however, the agricultural part of his studies that lead him to his adopted country of Canada.

"I saw what the farmers in Europe were earning and wanted something different.  I approached a professor at the University and he happened to know someone in Canada and, of all places, in Paisley.  So, in 1988, I came as a tourist for three months.  My very first experience in Canada was at Pierson Airport.  My English was very limited but I knew I had to catch a bus to this place called, Port Elgin.  Not knowing where I was, I went to a door in the airport that said 'Ground Transportation'."  He laughs.  "I didn't know it meant ground transportation for the airport."

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13/01/2009 04:24 PM

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The woman who talked with Pieplow patiently explained where he was to catch the bus to Port Elgin however, as soon as he left her, he also left behind the directions.  After returning three times to the same person, she finally locked her office and lead him by the hand to a bus depot outside the terminal.

"There was a huge Greyhound bus there and she put me on it and explained to the driver that I needed to catch a bus at the other terminal and that I couldn't speak English very well.  He actually drove me there and dropped me off at the right bus stop with strict instructions not to move from that place and that the right bus would stop there.  This was 2:00 p.m. and the bus wouldn't come until 6:00 pm., but I didn't move and I thought what a wonderful place Canada is.  They help you and make sure you are ok."

After arriving in Paisley, he eventually bought an old car that could barely make it up a hill but, one day, it did make up a hill.  "It's a steep hill in Paisley and I barely got to the top," he laughs again,  "but what I saw when I did, stopped me in my tracks.  There, spread out was land and a magnificent view."

Although Pieplow left Paisley and travelled for a time, he finally returned and purchased that same land that he had seen and still lives there today with his young family.

While he started out farming, he explains that, "When I left Germany in 1988, alternative renewable wind energy was huge.  So, when renewable energy began to be talked about here, I knew I had to be part of it."  Working for Canadian Agra, Pieplow headed up the study for wind energy down to the Goderich area and continues to work in the renewable energy sector