BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
SCUGOG: Brian Tassell, owner and operator of Ray Hobbs Garage, is set to retire after a 56 year career repairing and maintaining vehicles.
With a long and distinguished career, the 75-year-old mechanic and business owner has decided it's time for some well-deserved relaxation.
"I came to Canada from England at 17-years-old, and needed a job," said Mr. Tassell. "I met Ray Hobbs at his garage in Manchester, and he hired me on shortly after. We sold trucks, tractors, and Studebakers - it was the beginning of my career."
Years later, Mr. Hobbs moved his dealership and garage to a new location in Columbus, and planned to sell the business to Mr. Tassell. In 1978, Ray handed the helm of his garage over to his protege, and Mr. Tassell ran it for 26 years.
In 2004, Mr. Tassell decided to move his shop to its current location at 182 North Port Rd., in order to serve his customers better - and has been located just off of Reach St. ever since.
"My customers are like family to me, I'm going to miss seeing them for check ups and maintenance," said Mr. Tassell. "I've been planning to retire for a few years, and the oppurtunity arose to pass the keys to a lady I've known for many years - the garage is in good hands."
The half-century career of an auto-mechanic has seen numerous changes in the way we get from point-A to point-B
"There have been huge changes in the automotive industry over the years," explained Mr. Tassell. "When I started, cars were simple and straightforward, and could be fixed on the side of the road - now, it's mostly done by computers and automated systems - but we've always kept up and serviced all makes and models."
Mr. Tassell said that he never felt the need to retire and 'enjoy himself' because he always enjoyed his time at work.
"My wife Gwen will be retiring from her job in December, so I think it will work out nicely," said Mr. Tassell.
In retirement, he plans to vacation in sunny Saint Kitts and practice his waterskiing, a favourite sport of the veteran mechanic and maintenance-man.
With a new owner taking the wheel at Ray Hobbs Garage on Sept. 2, Mr. Tassell and the new owner will be putting together a 'passing of the steering wheel' ceremony at a later date.
Stay tuned to The Standard for more information, and pop in to Ray Hobbs Garage at 182 North Port Rd. to have a chat with Mr. Tassell!