OK Tire and Auto Service as it was around 1968

OK Tire and Auto Service as it was around 1968

Local business at 50 years and still going strong

Ok Tire and Auto Service, or Darling Tire Ltd., has been a family owned and operated business here in Lake Cowichan since 1975.

Ok Tire and Auto Service, or Darling Tire Ltd., has been a family owned and operated business here in Lake Cowichan since 1975.

Dave Darling officially took over the business in 1990, but he worked with his father, Earl, since the business opened. In 1994 the business became an OK Tire franchise.

“We were independent and saw the need in strength in numbers,” said Darling of the change. “And you know, there’s obviously things that corporations can do for you that small family businesses can’t do.”

At the time that Darling Tire joined the OK Tire, the chain had 125 stores across the country.

“We are now the largest chain of independent tire stores in Canada with over 270 stores,” said Darling.

Originally opened to service the forest industry and residents in the area, the business was a one-bay shop built by Matz Johnson.

“Who was Ted Johnson’s father, everybody knows Matz,” said Darling. “Originally a bunk-house in Jordan River, it opened in 1962 [as a tire store].”

Darling says the shop was run as a tire store only, until 2004.

“Then, with all the changes in the forest industry, I saw the need to diversify. I reinvested to now do full automotive service,” said Darling.

At this time, Darling added two more bays to the garage.

“Part of the problem of running a small operation, for small business in a small market, is staying modern with new technologies and we are continually re-investing in new equipment,” said Darling.

Recently he has added brand new state of the art alignment equipment and diagnostic equipment, as well as new tire machines and balancing equipment.

The building is also currently undergoing renovations, which Darling expects to be finished by the end of November.

“We are renovating inside and out to update to the new corporate image,” said Darling.

He also says he is always optimistic, and despite the slow economy, has long-term plans to expand to five bays, and build a new office showroom before he retires. As the economy improves, he also hopes to return to being open six days a week—currently Darling Tire is not open on Saturdays.

However, even with all of these upgrades and renovations going on, Darling keeps his roots firmly in the community, and, following in fine family tradition, has been an active member of the Cowichan Lake communities for many years.

“Earl [Darling’s father], in 1984, went into local politics and became a two-term alderman, and two-term mayor and retired in 1996,” said Darling.

Darling himself has been been in Lake Cowichan since 1975, he and his wife have raised four children here.

“I am a past president of the Kinsman Club, I’m a past Lake Day’s chairman (1983), my wife is a past Cowichan Lake Skating Club chairman and continues to work with the club and has been in the club for over 25 years,” said Darling.

He is also a 30 year member of the Mesachie Lake Fire Department and is currently the chair of the Cowichan Lake Recreation Commission, he chair of Area F Parks, “and I was honoured to be asked to be Ian Morrison’s alternate director for Area F.”

For more information, or to book an appointment, call Dave at OK Tire and Auto Service at 250-749-6614.

 

Just Posted

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Darren Campbell's truck was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch (pictured) on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Cowichan Bay Good Samaritan’s stolen truck recovered

‘Very much appreciated the help from so many people. I hope the very best for all of you’

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Most Read