I graduated from Laurier with an honours BBA in the spring of 1978. At the time there was a recession in Ontario, and only three members of my class had jobs when we graduated.
I sent resumes out everywhere (which was by snail mail at the time), but the only offers arriving had very low pay and required 300 hours of free overtime. I turned them down. My friend’s family had a lumberyard so I was working as a jack of all trades there, and living with my parents at home.
I had applied to a small ad in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record for a CA student for a firm called “MacKay Peachey & Co” with an Edmonton address. To be honest, I don’t even remember doing that. One day at lunch several weeks later, I received a call from a “Glenn Munro” saying he was from that firm and wanted to interview me in Toronto. We set a time to meet at the Prince hotel.
I asked for the time off, dressed in a suit, borrowed my parents old car (which had no air conditioning) and drove two hours on a hot humid day to Toronto for the interview.
Here I am, in a suit sweating like a pig, and in walks Munro and Elgin Gomme for the interview ... in shorts and t-shirts! You can guess what I am thinking!
The interview ends and back home I go, working and applying for jobs.
A period of time goes by and the mail arrives, with an envelope from MacKay Peachy & Co.
I open it and lo and behold, there was a job offer. The pay was double what salaries were in Ontario and I was paid overtime… but the location was Whitehorse … ?
Being a young guy from the center of the universe, I did what anyone in Ontario would do. I grabbed an Atlas to try and figure out where in the hell Whitehorse was!
After the initial shock, I tried to learn about Whitehorse (with no internet to rely on). I’m not sure where I got my information from, but I remember having a beer with my Dad on the back porch after a labourer’s hot and sweaty workday (he was one as well).
I really wanted to be a CA and I will always remember his words “what have you got to lose?”.
He was right. And, he offered to help fly me home if it didn’t work out, so I accepted.
On the day before I was to leave, I went golfing with buddies and we had a BBQ with friends at my parents’ house. Next morning early on the plane to Whitehorse.
Now I had never been on a plane before. My first move and my first flight. And, in those days it was a milk run. Toronto/Edmonton/Grande Prairie/Fort St. John/Watson Lake/Whitehorse.
I step off the plane (baggage was outside then) to -10 and a snowstorm. Remember the day before I golfed. If I could have got right back on that plane, I would have never spent a single day in Whitehorse!
However, it improved. I was picked up by a partner (David George) who, instead of taking me to the place I was staying, took me to the bar to meet a client (Tippy Mah, who is still a client today) and Glenn Munro.
I eventually made it to the place I was staying (a very old house owned by the partners at the time) and sharing with another CA student (Robert Ikoma) who remains a friend to this day.
And now you know the rest of the story. Fast forward 40 years, and I’ve built my career with this firm. I met my wife, Valerie, and we’ve raised a family in Whitehorse, and through the decades I’ve met some of my closest friends at Crowe MacKay. While some warmer days may be nice throughout the year, it’s nothing that a little Arizona sun can’t make up for. I am proud to call Whitehorse home and grateful for my time at Crowe MacKay.