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Blind Auto Mechanic

"Eric Davidson"

On December 6, 1917 a terrible explosion occurred in Halifax Harbour levelling many parts of the city. Two-year-old Eric Davidson was one of its casualties. He was blinded by flying glass.

As Eric grew up he attended the Halifax School For The Blind and developed a fascination for cars. He loved cars and he learned everything he could about them. He liked to putter, take things apart and put them back together, including car engines. As I said, he was fascinated by cars.

In 1944, because of World War Two, there was a serious shortage of me

chanics so Citadel Motors in Halifax decided to give 29-year-old Eric a chance to tryout as an apprentice mechanic. Using memory retention, Eric was able to get the job and later get his mechanic's papers specializing in ignitions, carburetors and pistons. He moved to Ontario, then returned to Halifax and spent 25 years as a mechanic with the City of Halifax.

Now 75, and retired, he still loves to tinker on cars. In fact, 10 years ago Eric bought a seven passenger 1922 Reo Touring car that he has completely restored. He enjoys it when his son Andrew starts up the Reo and takes Eric and his wife of 41 years, Mary Ellen, out for a Sunday drive.

"We have to stay off the main highways”, he chuckles, "because it just can't keep up with the newer cars."

The Red Reo is a familiar attraction in local parades as well. You can bet your last dollar it runs like a top. Eric Davidson is another Achiever who simply would not allow blindness to become a roadblock.

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