Jim O’Sullivan with Mayor of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Donald William “Don” Cody.
Born in Cork on July 26, 1932, he was formally named James Pascal O’Sullivan and ever since has been fondly called Séamus (James or Jim in English) by his family and friends. Jim gained his education with the Christian Brothers College in Cork.
Adventurous by nature, Jim sailed from Cobh to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in March 1953 with $23.00 in his pocket and stayed with a distant relative in Montreal for a day before taking the train westward, debarking at Hanna, Alberta to start life in Canada as a young man of twenty.
There, he started working at a gasoline station pumping gas, followed by working on the local railway and from there he joined a number of other Irish men doing construction work. It was in Regina, Saskatchewan where Jim was employed as a carpenter at the local cement factory and where he was elected president of his Labour Union
About this time, Jim also became President of the Irish Club of Regina and he also began his Judo training and entered for Judo competitions. Jim also took voice lessons as singing has always been his passion.
In 1964, he married Lorraine Mickel and moved to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan to take up the position of carpentry instructor at the federal penitentiary. After nine years of successive promotions, he was appointed Warden in 1974 and served at the Penitentiary in Prince Albert Saskatchewan until his retirement in May 1995.
In fact, Jim was the longest serving warden in all of Canada and beloved by both staff and inmates due to his fair and firm management of the office of the warden.
During his term as a warden, he has been twice elected president of the North American Association of Wardens and Superintendents, in 1981-84 and in 1989-1991. He was awarded Warden of the Year in 1993 and the road, O’Sullivan Way, adjacent to the Penitentiary was named in his honour.
He had been a President of the Judo club in Prince Albert for forty years and established judo clubs in neighbouring communities. He was an official for Judo competition during the 1976 Olympics held in Montreal and earned his 5th degree Black belt in Judo in 1995.
Jim O’Sullivan was inducted to the Prince Albert Hall of Fame in 1993 and in 2003 inducted to Saskatchewan Hall of Fame in a Builder category for Judo. He was also named Kinsmen Sportsman of the year in 1981. He had involved himself in the promotion of Irish culture by encouraging Irish dancing and singing. He was known for his singing abilities on many occasions in particular on St. Patrick’s Day.
Jim retired in 1995 to look after his ailing wife. He has six children, all grown up with families of their own including: Kevin in Quebec, Maureen in Tennessee, USA, Kathleen, Patricia and Siobhan in Saskatchewan and Mary in British Columbia.
Jim was widowed for ten years until he married his second wife, Malou Mendoza, in 2009.