After transporting goods between Cortes Island and the Campbell River area for the past eleven years, Andrew and Peggy Kirk are retiring from managing the Lane 8 Delivery.

And they stumbled upon the perfect couple to take over: Arron Elliott and his wife Odette Auger have purchased the business.

Elliott already had his class one license when he arrived on Cortes Island ten years ago, but there had not been an opportunity to use it. He had eyed some of the island’s driving jobs — the mail truck, school bus etc — but went to work at the Hollyhock Leadership Institute.

He has been in Maintenance Department for almost 9 years, and worked his way up to Maintenance Manager for the past 3.

“My job at Hollyhock was a great job. I put in my time there, but I was on call 24/7 pretty much and I just figured I’d give a shot at this. If I’m going to worry about something, and put that much focus into something, I would like it to be my own business,” said Elliott.

The Kirks came into his life because of what has become a ten-year-long building project. They delivered the materials for the floor, countertops and deck of his home.

Auger emailed that during the most recent delivery, she asked the Kirks if they were thinking of retiring or selling.

She let them know that Elliott was interested.

“They thought Arron would be a great fit, for the friendly customer service part, combined with his strong work ethic. So we started thinking seriously about it,” she wrote. “What’s been really sweet is all the islanders’ congratulations. They’re happy the service will continue, and they’re happy it’s us running it! That felt like confirmation, it was a good path to take.”

Elliott had just finished his first day at the job when CKTZ News caught up with him. He and the Kirks had left at 8 a.m., made a number of pick-ups in Campbell River and Willow Point, then returned to Cortes at 8 p.m. that night. This will be his routine from now on: trips to Campbell River on Tuesdays and Thursdays, pickups and deliveries on Cortes Island Wednesdays and Fridays.

“People really need this service! From urgent deliveries for trades people needing parts to get a job done, to meals prepared and needing a delivery to loved ones here on Cortes,” wrote Auger. “The good service the Kirks have established will continue as is– with some additions as requests come in!”

Photo credits (top) Arron Elliot and Odette Auger together at Smelt Bay on Cortes Island. Photo courtesy of Odette Auger. (podcat) Photo credit: The BC Ferry terminal on Cortes Island - Photo by Roy L Hales

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative