Auto Service World
Feature   April 1, 2002   by Bob Blans

Across Canada Report: Looking at the Future and the Past

It is hard to imagine, but AIA vice-president Beverlie Cook says plans are already underway to organize the 2003 AIA Annual Convention, to be held in Charlottetown, P.E.I., May 29-31, 2003. A local Atlantic Division organizing committee is being assembled, and as we know P.E.I. is a great destination for mixing business and pleasure. Stay tuned.

My sincere congratulations go out to former UAP president Albert Blair on the publication of his autobiography entitled “A View From The Running Board.” It takes the form of a 276-page book and contains Blair’s story and stories about the many people he became acquainted with in the industry over so many years. It contains numerous photographs and copies of newspaper and magazine articles about industry events that he was involved in. Blair is now 87 years old and it was a major task to compile all of this information. He has published 200 copies that are going to family, friends and many former business associates. I received a signed copy and I will cherish it. I hope there is some way that more copies can be made available to people in the industry who would love to read it. Again, congratulations!


AIA vice-president Marc Brazeau reports that the 2002 AIA Quebec Automotive Forum held in Drummondville, Que., in March was a great success, with more than 200 people attending. They heard industry leaders such Robert Blair of Carquest Canada, Michel Maheux of Uni-Select, and Dennis Bellemore of UAP Inc., speak on a variety of industry topics. Brazeau congratulates Quebec Division chairman Michel Bourgeois and his entire organizing committee for a job well done.

Lloyd Reynard, AIA’s Vancouver Island and British Columbia representative, reports that Karon Erickson of Ric’s Auto Parts, a UAP Associate in Parksville, B.C., has sold the business. The new owner is Ed Richard. He also reports that Stones Auto Supply, also in Parksville, has closed shop and the former owner, Duane Stone, is now working for the Lordco store in Parksville. Also, Reynard notes sadly that long-time jobber counterman Bob DeBruyn has passed away. He was well known in the area of Delta, Surrey, and Langley, B.C.

Field representative Derek McGregor has retired and is stepping down. Keith Hoelscher of Qualicum Auto and Marine Supply has agreed to take his place.

Also in B.C., the Lower Mainland golf tournament will be held at the Golden Eagle Golf Club in Pitt Meadows on May 31.

Peter Gilchrist reports from the B.C. Interior that a meeting hosted by Okanagan University/College was attended by representatives from NAPA, Miller & Wyatt, Pendozi Machine, McGrath Auto and the AIA. They discussed the feasibility of the installation of a CARS Interactive Distance Learning system at the university to be used by jobbers, installers and students. Further discussions are expected.

Southern Alberta chairman Dave Desmarais reports that the division will be hosting the annual South/North AIA golf tournament June 20, in Lacombe. The divisions will be co-hosting the Chairman’s Reception, tentatively planned for June 19 in Red Deer.

Note: If you have any information to contribute to this column please call Bob Blans at (905) 844-8616, Fax (905) 844-8731, E-Mail to or write to Across Canada Report c/o Jobber News Magazine, 1450 Don Mills Rd., Don Mills, ON M3B 2X7. In addition to AIA Division activities we are interested in hearing from you about the opening of a new business, change of ownership, expansions etc.

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