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Iconic full-service gas station in Qualicum Beach sold to new owners

Petro-Canada business acquired by Mid Island Co-op
Darla Tate recently sold the Petro-Canada gas station in Qualicum Beach to Mid Island Co-op, after owning it for 33 years. (Kevin Forsyth photo)

A Qualicum Beach landmark will soon be under new management.

Darla Tate, who has owned the Petro-Canada gas station on Memorial Avenue since 1990, recently sold it to Mid Island Co-op — the deal will officially close on Oct. 31.

“We bought it in 1990, so 33 [years],” Tate said. “I lost my husband in 2005 and kept going for another 17, 18 years. It’s time.”

She said she has had great staff members over the years at the full-service gas station, which has become a rarity these days.

“It’s my customers and my staff. I think that’s what I’ll miss the most,” Tate said.

Tate, together with Seaside Cruizers car club member Dave Field, organized a garage sale to liquidate the station’s inventory.

They split the $3,500 in proceeds, with the Cruizers’ portion to go towards the 15 or so charities that group supports, according to Field. Ian Lindsay, of RE/MAX, contacted Field and asked if he could help with the inventory.

Field said he always appreciated having his gas pumped, oil checked and windshield cleaned at the Petro-Canada.

“You don’t see that anywhere anymore and that’s one thing I always liked about that station,” he said. Field also appreciates the gas station’s classic look — it was built in 1951, according to BC Assessment.

READ MORE: Seaside Cruizers Father’s Day Show ’N Shine returns to Qualicum Beach

He recalled, years ago, pulling up with a slow tire leak. A fellow named Ron, now retired, came out, jacked up the pickup truck and fixed the tire in five minutes.

“It was kind of that personal service that really, I found most interesting and what kept me interested,” Field said, he added he plans to go by and take some photos of the building as it is, just in case.

It’s hard to say what will happen to the local landmark. Tate was told that in the short-term not much will change, but after that ‘who knows?’

She added she’s not sure what she’ll do to keep busy after the sale finalizes.

“I guess we’ll find out. Who knows I might get a part-time job next year,” she said with a laugh.

There is still some old inventory left, including some antique and possibly collectible items.

Stop by the gas station (665 Memorial Ave.) or call (250-752-9542) before Oct. 31 if interested.

The location will be Mid Island Co-op’s 17th gas bar, according to a news release.

“Mid Island Co-op is excited for this opportunity,” Ian Anderson, CEO of Mid Island Co-op, said in the release. “Our co-operative principle of giving back to the communities in which we operate have guided our business for over 63 years and we’re delighted to serve the community of Qualicum Beach. We also appreciate the team that Darla has built at the station and we look forward to welcoming them into the Mid Island Co-op family and to working with them throughout this transition and beyond.”

Seaside Cruizers are a non-profit community fundraising group that has been in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area for almost 30 years.

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Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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