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Diamond Jubilee: Manitoba bodyshop celebrates 60 years in business

Virden, Manitoba ⁠— Small town bodyshop Virden Auto Body celebrated 60 years in business last week with an article in its local newspaper.

The Beltz family has owned the business since 1972. Garry Beltz took over the business from its original owners, Tony Wade and Bob Smith, and the facility has been helmed by Garry’s son, Todd, for the last 17 years.

Garry first set foot in the autobody industry after he spoke with Ken Seafoot, the boss at the local Mercury dealership. Seafood asked Garry what he’d been up to work-wise, and their conversation ended with a job offer that saw Garry start in the bodyshop the very next day.

“There was a body man there and I started as his helper. I liked the idea,” he said.

He soon pursued certification, became a bodyman at the facility and worked there for two years before setting his sights on a bigger goal. He put an ad in the local paper announcing he was in search of a bodyshop for purchase and Virden Auto Body answered the call.

As for Garry’s son, Todd, he can hardly recall a time he wasn’t skirting around the shop as a kid. He’s been an official part of the business since 1996 and is a Red Seal journeyperson in paint and autobody work.

Garry and Todd are hugely proud of their long-term team of staff, including Jennifer Chapman, who works in the office and Red Seal journeypersons Bryon Ludlum with 47 years of service; Blaine Sigurdson with 30 years and Gavin McGregor with 12 years.

Join Collision Repair mag in celebrating Virden Auto Body’s 60th anniversary!

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