Terry and Linda Dockrill had no intention of messing with a good thing.
When the Dockrills closed the deal to purchase McBride’s Service Station in Chemainus from Dan and Wanda Myers just before Christmas, the thought never crossed their minds to change the name of the long-established business.
“We’re not changing that name,” Terry said was their mindset from the beginning of negotiations. “It’s been here too long.”
The business goes back to the 1920s in Chemainus. The landmark McBride’s name took hold when Bobby McBride assumed ownership and stuck through every ownership change afterwards so the Dockrills weren’t about to part from tradition now.
“It’s phenomenal to have that history,” Terry marvelled. “You’ve got to fill some big shoes. It’s a welcome challenge, let’s put it that way.”
Judging from early responses within the community during two and a half months since the takeover, the Dockrills are doing a fine job.
“A huge shoutout to McBride’s,” Lori Wilfong-Farrugia recently wrote on Facebook. “They took care of my Jeep for the second time without an appointment. Both times I received friendly service, the team is always pleasant and the family is such a great addition to the community. I wish them continued success.”
The Dockrills are happy to hear comments like that and to be running the iconic business.
Terry was born in Montreal and came out to Calgary in 1980. He got into the Tire Town franchise’s apprenticeship program but found he liked dealing with customers better and became the manager of a tire warehouse.
Terry eventually got moved to Grande Prairie and, during his time there, Kal Tire took over Tire Town. He wound up returning to Calgary to serve as zone manager at Kal-Tire for several years and then left to work at Blaskin and Lane Tire Centre and “that’s when I met Linda,” Terry said.
After leaving Blaskin and Lane, he went to Commercial Tire. In 1998, Terry made the move to Canadian Tire in Red Deer, first as service manager and then as store manager before being promoted to general manager. In all, he spent 15 years as general manager of two large Canadian tire outlets in Red Deer and Calgary.
Linda was born in Arnprior, Ont. and her family relocated to Winnipeg when she was two. They remained there until 1991 and Linda continued making her way west into Calgary.
A car enthusiast, now 52, Linda has been in the retail business most of her life and ran garden centres for many years, including one for Terry at Canadian Tire.
Terry, now 56, and Linda came to the point where they wanted to seek another opportunity.
“Linda and I wanted to retire out here eventually,” Terry indicated. “Let’s expedite it and we dove in with four feet and bought this place. We’re more than happy.”
It took a while to seal the deal.
“We started in April in the dealings with Dan and we moved here August long weekend,” Terry noted.
They’re currently living in Nanaimo, but looking for a house in Chemainus.
They looked at purchasing Cowichan Auto Repair in Duncan, but decided against it. McBride’s came to their attention via the Internet.
“We felt this was the right place and because it was within what we wanted to do with honest service,” said Terry.
The Dockrills have six on staff right now, including the Myers’ son Matt.
“I told him when I retire, he can buy it off me with Dan’s money,” joked Terry.
The Dockrills have settled nicely into the ownership of McBride’s but it’s been a busy time.
“There’s a lot to know,” conceded Linda.
“There’s a lot of moving parts,” added Terry.
The Dockrills have plans on utilizing the space next door and opening Puppycats Pet Emporium in the near future, hopefully within a month. Charlie, a golden retriever, is the shop dog and the equivalent of a Walmart greeter at the location.
Their two daughters, Samantha and Shaina, will run that aspect of the business.
Interesting note: Terry also scouted for the Kamloops Blazers Western Hockey League team for 10 years, partly in the Ken Hitchcock and Bob Brown era.
“Jarome Iginla was one of the first guys I kind of watched,” Terry noted.
He actually started scouting after moving to Grande Prairie and was at a rink somewhere six nights a week at one stage.