Three Generations providing
quality construction and maintenance on Georgian Bay.
in 1953, John Hodgson took over a portion of an established
construction and cottage services business on Georgian Bay.
Established in the early 1900's by his father-in-law in the
Pointe au Baril area, John's business, then called John Hodgson
Contractor, continued in his father-in-laws tradition, adding
propane delivery as an additional service to the islanders.
John, with his wife Eva, raised four boys, Stanley, John
(Jack), Wes, and Gary, who helped with the family business.
"I remember working along side my father and grandfather,"
says son, Stan, currently at the reigns of the family business.
"I was only a young teenager and I didn't do a lot back
then. I used to go up on the roof, and cleaned up around the
two of them. I must have enjoyed it 'cause here I am.
John and Eva's four sons worked summers and weekends while
in school, but all held separate goals, some more toward administration,
and choosing to raise families in the city.
Following his own interests, Stanley, the eldest son, moved
to Long Branch, Ontario, serving a plumbing apprenticeship,
and becoming a master plumber and gas technician. Around 1962,
he opened Stan's Plumbing and Heating and A-1 Plumbing Services
which he operated for approximately six years in Port Credit.
"I never had an inkling of taking over the family business
until the opportunity arose," he says, describing it
as: "A stroke of luck."
"Working on the Bay is a lifestyle all it's own. I
had to leave here to gain the necessary experience, learn
the trade, but nothing beats working on the Bay."
All of Stan's brothers live and work in the cities.
"My youngest brother became a plumber, and served his
apprenticeship under my company in Port Credit, but they only
come to Pointe au Baril with their families as cottagers,"
So when the option came to purchase the business upon his
father's retirement, Stan saw it as an opportunity to move
his wife Edith, who was expecting their son Mark, and young
family, Keith and Dineen, back to a place that held many fond
childhood memories. The business was purchased in 1975 and
incorporated as Stan Hodgson Contracting.
"I've always been involved in renovations and construction,"
he explains. "It's what I knew, and being an avid hunter
and fisherman, there's no other place I'd rather be, even
though I was more involved in the gas and plumbing end. When
the opportunity arose, I grabbed it."
Surprisingly, he finds very little has changed in the day-to-day
operations of the business since he purchased it 27 years
"There's no difference whatsoever, other than the obvious
advancements in technology, it still boils down to common
sense, customer satisfaction and pride in your product,"
he explains. "When Keith takes over, I'm sure he'll find
the same things are important."
Edith runs her own end of the business providing cottage cleaning
and laundry service to their many customers.
Over the years Stan has also been involved in the community
through participation on the local Roads Board, Recreation
Community and served as past president of the local Lions
jobs for Keith and Mark
Sons, Keith and Mark both held summer jobs learning about
the family business, just as Stan did as a teenager, cleaning
up and helping the men.
from the start Keith showed a knack for building, working
with wood and shared my love of the Bay. He always viewed
the family business with an eye to the future," recalls
Stan. "Mark was good but never that keen. He still helps
out when we need him."
One of Keith's earliest recollections about working in the
family business was the sage advice from his grandfather.:
"No matter what you're doing, whether it's sweeping the
floor or constructing the building, you do the best you can
do, and take pride in it."
Those words stand out in his memory as he remembers learning
about the family business.
"I was fortunate enough to have been initially introduced
to the trade working under my father," says Keith. "I
always enjoyed building construction and learned the basics
back in Parry Sound high school from Al Kuzmyk. That's when
I got the taste for the design and drafting end of it. I could
easily have continued on into architecture, but that would
have limited my time on the Bay. I really enjoy being 'hands
Keith has designed many of the building projects,undertaken
by his father's company over the past 18 years. For him the
biggest advantage and disadvantage are the same.
"A major disadvantage is having to deal with family
24/7, but, that in itself can also be on of the greatest advantages,
considering that my own children are old enough to get involved,"
says Keith. "They bring their own special talents, and
someday may be the fourth generation of Hodgson Contractors
on Georgian Bay."