The Breakey Apple
William James Breakey was born February 11, 1895, in Lansing, Ontario, Canada, to parents John Wesley and Mary Stewart Breakey. After receiving his early education in York County, Ontario, he served with the 48th Cameron Highlanders during World War I. Upon completing his military service he attended the Agricultural College at the University of Manitoba, graduating in 1928, and was the Assistant Superintendent of the Dominion Experimental Station at Morden, Manitoba until his retirement in 1960. William J. Breakey was also a man involved in many community service activities, serving as secretary manager of the Morden Chamber of Commerce, president of the Red Cross, director of the Manitoba Division of the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society, member of the Masonic Lodge, the Eastern Star, United Church, and the Royal Canadian Legion. Mr. Breakey, age 84 years, died 29 May 1979 at the Morden General Hospital.
It was during Mr. Breakey’s tenure at the Experimental Station that The Breakey Apple came into being. Introduced at Morden in 1935, its pedigree is described as (Morden Research Station to author, 15 November 1985):
"…an open-pollinated seedling of Blushed Calville. Blushed Calville is a Russian cultivar of apple illustrated as ‘dependable, early fruiting, and very hardy."
Descriptions indicate The Breakey Apple produces a tree that is upright, vigorous, hardy and productive, with extra large flowers producing an ornamental plant in spring. Fruit is medium in size, about 5-6.5 cm, round in shape, striped bright red over yellowish-green, flesh whitish, fine textured, very juicy, mild, smooth textured, mildly sprightly and spicy – A good dessert fruit from early September into December. It is excellent for eating out of hand and good for cooking, and is recommended for all Prairie Provinces.
In August, 1979, I received a letter from Mr. Bert I. F. Breakey of Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, in which he made mention of The Breakey Apple: “There is an interesting note about William of Morden when he was assistant superintendent of Morden Experimental Farm. They developed a ‘Manitoba Apple’ tree and named it the ‘Breakey Apple.’ I have had two trees but had to leave them at homes we sold. All Manitoba nurseries sell them.”
In 1981 Joan Adams of Alberta, another Breakey descendant, wrote: “I just happened across the apple information without even looking for it. I picked up a pamphlet while waiting to speak to a lady and there it was – The Breakey Apple. I asked her to copy it for me. I really wonder sometimes about the difference between chance and coincidence!”
My gratitude to Joan Adams and, in remembrance, Bert I. F. Breakey for making this article possible.
Marilyn J. Breakey
Baldwinsville, New York