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A Legend In His Lifetime

"K. C. Irving"

In 1989, I was invited by the Miramichi Regional Development people to help present their First Annual Miramichi Achievers Award to K. C. Irving. I travelled to Newcastle, New Brunswick wondering what it would be like to meet the man who had achieved so much in his lifetime. A man who had become almost larger than life. According to Forbes Magazine, K. C. Irving had become one of the world's fourteen richest men.

It all started in 1924 when at the age of 25 he built his own garage and service station in Buctouche, N.B. and began importing oil and gas from the

U.S. He went up against the giants and became one himself. Today he owns thousands of Irving Stations, refineries, radio stations, television stations, newspapers, pulp mills, retail stores. You name it, he's got it ... or is in the process of acquiring it.

When I met him, at age 90, his handshake was as firm and strong as the will and determination that brought him his success. In presenting his Achiever Award I quoted Dr. Frankel who wrote in his book ... 'The Doctor and The Soul' ... "happiness is doing, doing is achieving"

If Dr. Frankel is correct, and I believe he is, then K. C. Irving must be one of the happiest men alive.

On a lighter side, two days earlier while driving into St. John to visit Bob Henry, program director of radio station CHSJ (an Irving owned company), I stopped at a comer phone booth to phone Bob for directions. I explained that I was calling from a phone booth near an Irving gas station. Bob chuckled and said, "Dick, when you're in New Brunswick you're always near an Irving station."

I told that story during the award presentation. Mr. Irving and the audience laughed.

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