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Who Am I?

Chuck Thompson

I was born in Flesherton Ontario in 1938 where my Dad was a teacher. In 1941 we began a succession of moves, ending in Port Carling, where Dad was principal of the public school. By this time I had three younger brothers.   I loved being a kid in Port Carling.    In 1956 we were unfortunately on the move again!  The Port Carling school was closing so we moved to Blenheim and then Ridgeway.  

I had a number of interesting summer and part time jobs in my teenage years including working at  the Port Carling Garage, acting as a counselor at Pioneer Camp near Port Sydney, working as the swimming pool supervisor in Kapuskasing as swimming pool supervisor and as a lifeguard at Crystal Beach. I also worked on a farm near Blenheim. I hated that job!

In 1959 after completing high school in Fort Erie, I worked at Ford in Oakville. At this time I completed a certificate in business course at University of Toronto.   At Ford, I started in the mail

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room and then worked in Production Control and Vehicle Distribution.   In Jan. 1963, I went to work for Chrysler Canada in Rexdale.  I became Sales Admin. Mgr.  for an ill-fated Chrysler foray into the small car business. That job ended in the summer of 1967. I then went to work for VW Canada as a District Manager for Northwestern Quebec and Northern Ontario.  I loved that job.   In 1969, several colleagues at VW yielded to offers and went to work for Toyota.  My former boss at VW kept calling and in the fall of 1969, I gave in and became Manager of Vehicle Supply and Distribution.  Later I became Dealer Development Mgr. for Ontario zone.  An opportunity arose and I started Grand River Toyota in the summer of 1972. I resigned from the dealership in the spring of 1975 and went to work for Forbes Motors in Waterloo as Fleet and Leasing Manager. In the summer of 1982 I went across the street to work as Leasing Manager for Thrifty Rent-a-Car.  In the summer of 1985, I started up Alpine Hyundai in partnership with the late Ian Cowles.  We later sold the dealership to Mississauga Hyundai.

After spending some time as Leasing manager at Parkway, I branched out on my own and started up Thompson Leasing Consultants in the spring of 1988. I’ve had some ups and downs but I’m still at it.

Let me talk about my family. I met my dear wife, Anne, at Clevelands House Muskoka in the summer of 1961. She was there from Montreal and I was there with my two buddies - we 'd been told that the girls outnumbered the guys at Clevelands that summer.  This summer romance clicked. After months of visits back and forth, we decided that it was cheaper to get married and we were in October 1962 in Montreal. 

Our first child David arrived in 1967. He is an accomplished musician. He plays gigs locally and across Canada and the USA, teaches at Heritage College and has his own recording studio where he

also gives private lessons.  He has played in a number of productions for the Drayton Group. He lives in Kitchener with Heather his wife. They have two sons - 17 and 14, who also are talented musically.

Our daughter Andrea was born in 1969.  Andrea teaches at in Hespeler.  She and her husband, Dan live in Baden.  They have a girl and two boys - 12, 10 and  7, and my grand dog Griffin. 

All of our family attend Highland Baptist Church and are very active in various activities.

I am a charter member of Kitchener-Westmount Rotary club - have served on the board of directors and as President 1987-88. I also serve on the Board of Directors of Chicopee Ski and Summer resorts.  

I look forward to winter because I’m a downhill skier and can ski at Chicopee and take trips out West or to Quebec.

I used to sail in the summer but we sold the boat along with the cottage. I’d like to buy another sailboat but that’s a work in progress. In the meantime, I bike and walk.

Anne and I enjoy traveling.  We’ve cruised in the Baltic, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, New Zealand and Australia.  Our travel plans were abruptly cancelled on Sept.3 when Anne had a serious car accident, just days before we were to fly to Europe.  She is recuperating from a severe whiplash. It’ll be a while before she fully recovers.  However, I’m thankful that it wasn’t worse and that we can look forward to planning another trip or two.

I want to close by thanking you all for listening to me and to say how happy I am to belong to the Probus Club of Kitchener-Waterloo.

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