On our travels between Kenora and Winnipeg, we officially hit the center of Canada in Manitoba. Night had fallen before we could arrive at the symbolic sign, so to immortalize our trip here, we had to get creative! The whole team participated in lighting the area so we could each write down our attachment to Canada, an attachment that this road trip has only strengthened.
Upon arriving in Winnipeg, a long day awaited us, with three filming sessions to undertake! Oh boy! We began by meeting up with Stan Higgins, the master dealer of Postech Manitoba and Kenora, as well as his right-hand man, Dale Plett, and their contractor, Warren Koop, in front of a nearly million-dollar home that sat almost entirely on Postech screw piles. This sweet residence in a suburb of Winnipeg, sits close to a river and is surrounded by large trees. The soft soil and harsh Manitoban winter climate are major problems for construction in this region. To offset the problems of the soil and the cold, Stan installed screw piles, about thirty in all, and he is quite happy to explain that “this house could be passed down from generation to generation, because the screw piles are galvanised and will not move”.
The day was just beginning, and nice surprises were popping up one after another. Closer to breakfast time, we headed toward a small residential neighborhood in Winnipeg, in which Habitat for Humanity had acquired the last lot of land available. The organization, which aims to facilitate access to housing for the less fortunate, called on the press for a very special event: the millionth Postech screw pile installation and a $6,500 check donation from Postech! “We wanted the millionth screw pile to be significant for us and for our company. We thought: who better to partner up with than Habitat for Humanity to highlight this achievement?” Matthew Barrington, Sales, Marketing & CSR Director, explained during the event. He came directly from the head office in Sherbrooke to emphasize the headquarters’ connection to its dealers.
To further underline the importance of this screw pile’s installation into the ground, Stan installed it live on camera. This millionth screw pile, painted gold for the occasion, will serve as a staging post for the workers of Habitat for Humanity. It will then be transported by the workers and planted in a construction site for the duration of the work there, then transported and planted once more in another worksite, and so on and so on. “We’re good friends with Postech,” Sandy Hopkins, general manager for the Manitoba branch of the association, informs us. “And we know their products. We are particularly proud that they had chosen us for this event. Now our flag will be on this golden screw pile in every worksite we break ground on, because we have decided to work exclusively with Postech for all our foundations.” A great exchange where everyone wins; we got here just at the right time to witness this momentous event!
For Stan, this screw pile means more than just a number. Above all, it is an honor and a beautiful show of recognition. “Honestly, it could also have been a different dealer. We have a great team here at Postech, and I am very proud to do it on behalf of the company. But really, a million screw piles in Canada… When you stop to think that the majority of our contracts are done for individuals, that means that hundreds and hundreds of clients have trust us since 1995, and have saved up and invested into what they many times consider to be one of the largest purchases of their lives: their house,” he considers excitedly. “That, to me, is the biggest proof of trust!”
To end the day in style, Stan shared his passion for flying down the roads with Mario, by letting him take his Slingshot for a spin! After which, Matthew got his turn at the machine and Stan was able to give a nod to his son, fan of both the Hulk and the Slingshot, by donning the green superhero’s mask while accompanying Matthew in the three-wheeled vehicle. We must say, the Postech people we’ve met on our travels have an easy, good-natured sense of humor, and it has been a real pleasure hanging out with them! Once we were done, we held an excellent dinner at Inferno’s Bistro (yum!) celebrating the millionth screw pile, the end of a long day of filming, and of course, the birthday of our photography director, Max.
Our business done in Winnipeg, we retook the road and headed to Saskatoon!