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Service Stations

 

            Woodwards was a major factor in the service station market, with eighteen service stations. They sold gasoline at two cents less than their competition which helped to make them successful. For many years the service station at Oakridge sold the most gasoline of any station in western Canada. The president of Woodwards personally negotiated contracts with the oil companies. The stations were a convenience for Woodward employees, who not only benefitted from the low price for gasoline but also from their employee discount. Employees could also leave their automobiles for servicing while they were at work. In the Downtown Vancouver store employees could leave their cars for servicing and have their cars parked in the garage and their keys delivered to their department.

            In 1959 when the Oakridge store opened, the Service Station sold cars, Peugeots, Triumphs, and Fiats. This was discontinued after three years, but not before Gordon Sutherland, driving a demonstrator, was stopped by police for making a left hand turn from the wrong lane, and had to surrender the car, which was towed away, since the registration was not available.

            Other events happened at the Oakridge Service Station. An employee was robbed on the way to taking the day’s receipts to the cash office in the store. Since he was reluctant to give up the cash, he was shot although not fatally. Another event (related by Gordon Sutherland) involved staff organizing a shipment of tires after store hours.  A neighbour, thinking that the store was being robbed, phoned the police, who showed up with 9 officers in 4 squad cars.