It was a company that made a big impact on Kelowna for the product it built and for the number of employees who worked there over the years.
And now Western Star Trucking has been immortalized with a decorative wall unveiled at its old location on Enterprise Way in Kelowna, now the new home of U-Haul.
“In 1967, White Motor Company started the Western Star division with this Kelowna plant,” said Horace Martin, U-Haul Company of British Columbia president. “It is currently the second largest building in Kelowna, and we are thrilled to honor the role it has played in our community over the years.”
More than 40 former employees showed up at the unveiling, including Kerry Lomax, who worked at the plant for 37 years, beginning in 1969 and ending in 2006.
U-Haul opened in a limited capacity in April 2017, offering truck and trailer sharing, moving supplies, towing equipment and U-Box portable moving and storage containers.
The recent acquisition of the Western Star facility was driven by U-Haul Company’s Corporate Sustainability initiatives supporting infill developments to help local communities lower their carbon footprint, according to the company.
By reusing the former Western Star plant instead of building a new structure, U-Haul says it prevented 659 tons of metal manufacturing and transportation from being used; avoided 10,789 tons of new concrete pours; kept 11,640 tons of construction and demolition debris out of landfills; and stopped 3,475,111 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
“U-Haul is committed to preservation and green business,” Martin said. “Our sustainability mission is to conserve our planet. I’m so proud of this adaptive reuse project. We can’t wait to serve the Kelowna community for years to come.”
—With files and video from Warren Henderson.
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