Island town throws party for longtime business

WatchA heartwarming scene outside a Youbou garage Wednesday drew generations of locals and people who have moved away. They were all there to say thanks for staying open, when the worst of times hit the tiny forestry community.

With the warmth he is known far and wide for, Grant Daly reached out and hugged just about every person at the party locals held in front of his Youbou garage Wednesday.

“It’s good,” said Grant Daly, owner of Daly’s Auto Centre.

“It’s really good.”

“It’s really important to everybody,” said Youbou resident Tami Wilde.

As Daly’s garage, the iconic meeting spot of the tiny Island town marked its milestone 40 years of staying open through the very worst economic times a little forestry community can face.

“We’ve had a lot of rocky times,” said Daly.

“We’ve had to rebuild a few times.”

“For this to be here, day in day out is huge,” said Youbou resident and B.C. paramedic Mike Wright. Wright took his lunch break to play the bagpipes for Daly and his garage

“This is what the community needs.”

Youbou’s sawmill shut down in 2001, laying off hundreds of workers. The bank, other stores and even the school closed in its wake. But Daly’s stayed.

“If it wasn’t for most of these people here I wouldn’t be here,” said Daly.

And along the way, Daly’s become such a vital part of Youbou that Tami Wilde and her husband even got married in the garage.

“Because it was a big part of our lives,” said Wilde.

“This is like the heart of Youbou,” said North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP’s Sarah Pharis.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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