Elrose, Saskatchewan – The town of Elrose, Saskatchewan is sending off a long-time veteran of the local collision repair community by honouring Lloyd Giles of Midtown Auto Body and his 50 years of hard work.
Giles opened Midtown Auto Body in the early 70s in Elmore following a period of indecision after high school that eventually led the enterprising young man into the field of auto body repair.
“I did my training after High School. I panicked a bit and picked auto body repair. I really just wanted to get out of town,” said Giles.
“I ended up taking a pre-employment class in Saskatoon in ’66. Then in ’67, I applied around for jobs, and I never got a call until about September of ’67. I started working in Rosetown; it was called Rosetown Paint and Body in those days. I worked three years on the nose until I got my journeyman papers. I had planned a year ahead that I was going to start my own place and my hometown was here.”
The years came and went and Giles became an institution in his community, while also learning plenty of lessons along the way.
“I have so many stories that I don’t even dare tell. That’s what I love about the business. In a way it’s not the same old grind, it’s not the same old engine overhaul. It’s not the same old thing. It’s just interesting situations that show up every week. Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it’s really not funny. It’s just always been quite an interesting experience. Lots of strange things that have happened. You have to understand where I’m coming from, just to know what I mean. I was in there this morning, in fact. I just went back to the shop for a minute, and they’re all laughing about something that happened. It was an adjuster day and somebody showed up with something,” Lloyd laughed. “I can’t share, it’s just interesting situations all the time.”
Giles says retirement is going to take some getting used to, even for some of his old clients.
“The people. I really enjoyed the customers. They’re still phoning me a little bit on my phone. I’ll miss being busy, you know. I’ll miss being busy, and all the people that came and went. But I am looking forward to ice fishing and golfing.”