Skip to content

From a Squamish garage to a Maple Ridge classroom

The Giving Kind: Local donates truck to shop class.
Squamish Truck Nov. 30
The F250 Ford.

To Squamish's Jake Barber, 35, it was just a truck that needed more work than he and his friend Lee Borek wanted to continue to pour into.

To Vann Thompson, who runs the auto shop at the Thomas Haney Secondary School in Maple Ridge, it offered the gift of learning for students. 

Barber donated his "pretty heavily modified" 1997 Ford F250 to the school for their shop class. 

The truck was originally one Barber and Borek modified to be an adventure vehicle for recreating down local Forest Service Roads. 

"We were thinking about selling it but then we were like, we don't really need the money... let's see if we can donate it to someone who wants it," Barber told The Squamish Chief. 

He saw an advertisement on a Vancouver buy and sell forum from the school looking for a transmission. 

"I said, 'Well, would you guys be interested in having the whole truck?'" 

Thompson was. It will be now used to teach students about different automotive systems and to perform repairs on vehicles. 

"His contribution saved us from having to buy a vehicle to teach kids on," Thompson said, adding funds are short for such things. 

It was Thompson who reached out to The Chief about the donation, wanting folks to know how much it was appreciated.

Barber said he didn't expect such gratitude.

"It was just a be-kind-to-each-other type thing," he said, adding the "Thank you," when the truck was towed to the school was enough.

Barber, who owns the local welding company Angry Arc Ltd, moved to Squamish from Dawson Creek in 2015. 

He said it is nice to see kids learning to fix things, the way he did naturally growing up. 

"We lived out on an acreage, so shop was just — life," he said, with a laugh. "We always had to fix tractors and trucks and make anything work that we had lying around, just for fun or to clear the land and feed animals.... It would be nice to see more people get those skills. I find that is kind of a dying art, a dying trade."