Downtown ‘builder’ passes away

Jack Sheppard started downtown parking association and home show

One of the stalwarts of Maple Ridge’s downtown died May 6, at the age of 87.

Jack Sheppard founded Haney Sewing & Sound in 1969, operating it first on the south side of 224th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road, then, since about 1980, at its current location on the northwest corner.

Sheppard opened Haney Sewing & Sound after spending 25 years with the Singer Sewing Machine Company, with which he was named top salesman in Canada in 1967.

He turned down an offer to go into management for Singer and instead opened his own store in Maple Ridge and kept the word sewing in the name.

It’s kind of a weird name, Jack’s son Dave Sheppard said.

“One nice thing about having a weird name is a lot of people remember it,” he added.

“If they come to our store, hopefully they’re happy with our service and tell people.”

It wasn’t long before TVs, stereos and appliances were added to the showroom floor.

Dave said his dad just loved his job.

“He always had great customer service. He was interested in people. He enjoyed the selling. He enjoyed the interaction,” Dave said.

“I don’t think he could have had an office job. It would have driven him crazy.”

Apart from building his business, which is now run by his sons Dave and Don and grandson Greg, Jack Sheppard also helped build the community.

He sat on several local committees, belonged to the chamber of commerce and was one of the founders of the Maple Ridge Downtown Parking Society.

That society was formed in 1990 in order to buy property in the downtown for future use as parking lots – to ensure there was enough commercial parking for future years. The society then sold the parking lots, at cost, to the city.

Sheppard was one of many helping build Maple Ridge.

“It’s interesting, some of these people have that much energy to [run their businesses], keep their families happy and still contribute so much to the community,” Dave said.

Another accomplishment of Jack Sheppard’s was starting the Ridge Meadows Home Show, along with Owen Fuller of Fuller Watson.

“It was a huge undertaking, but like all the projects these two took on together, it was a great success,” said Cass Winder, who now runs the home show.

She remembers Jack as “a grand gentleman, in every sense of the word.

“He contributed hugely to the unfolding of downtown Maple Ridge and its potential. He was one of those people who spoke softly, but when he spoke, people would listen.”

While he was running his store, Jack went on several business trips. He kept traveling when he retired, taking cycling trips through France, the U.S. and South Africa.

Dave says he learned from his dad “to be fair to people. Treat everybody with respect.”

 

Just Posted

UPDATE/VIDEO: Heavy police presence after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

On Cooking: Yes, I eat meat

I recognize the fact that we as people are not all the same.

VIDEO: Firefighters on scene at Mission house blaze

Flames can be seen rising from roof of home on Lightbody Crescent

Sports announced for Maple Ridge 2020 BC Summer Games

18 events will attract almost 3000 young athletes

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants couldn’t find the net: coach

Even with a six-on-three advantage, the Langley-based hockey team couldn’t earn points Sunday.

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read