Down Memory Lane - Gary McIntosh

Down Memory Lane Articles - by Stan Shillington


Gary Watson McIntosh, 1938 - 2002; year of birth, year of passing. But what happened between those dates? What does the dash (-) indicate?

In Gary's case, that simple dash represents over 63 years filled with family, friends, foresight and integrity. Gary was born August 28, 1938, in Shellbrook, Sask. but, at an early age, moved to Coquitlam with his family. Not yet out of his teens, Gary began working with Gill Interprovincial Lines in Vancouver and Toronto. He was a quick study and, during the early 1960's, was selected to sit on many committees that helped move the freight company from near bankruptcy to solvency. In 1972, after Gill was sold to an Australian company, Gary began examining possible business opportunities. Soon, he had an idea that he took to John Shaw, a close friend who had worked with him at Gill.

"He was excited," recalled Shaw, "stating we could buy a freight company that was going out of business for just $100,000. I said we don't have $100,000 but he didn't find that a problem because we could get it for just $5,000 down." McIntosh and Shaw, working out of Vancouver, and partners Hank Russell and Jim McDuff, also former Gill employees stationed in Toronto, proceeded to build Trans Western Express into a major transportation company. "His work ethics were incredible," said Shaw. "By day, he would sell business and at night would load trucks. He was a man who set goals in life, was determined to succeed, and would do the job right." But some health problems and a desire to spend more time with his growing family prompted Gary to sell his portion of Trans Western to his three partners in 1979. But retirement wasn't a comfortable home for an itchy foot and fertile mind. Soon, Gary was looking for new opportunities; one was building up a successful computer company and the other was leaping into the wonderful world of lacrosse, a sport introduced to him by his sons Gord, Jim and Tom.

Between 1979 and 1997, Gary managed intermediate teams in Burnaby, acted as commissioner of the B.C. Intermediate League, chaired the Senior Directorate, sat on the BCLA executive body and held a long-standing position of Canadian Lacrosse Association representative in B.C..

His organizational abilities were highly regarded by his peers -he won the Hugh Gifford Award in 1979 as BCLA's Manager of the Year, the Art Daoust Award in 1985 as Executive of the Year, and the Tom Gordon Plaque in 1987 and again in 1994 as B.C.'s "Mr. Lacrosse."

Then, in 1994, Gary received the 125th Anniversary Medal for "a significant contribution to Canada, to the community or to fellow Canadians..." for his contributions with the CLA.

In 1997, he was inducted as a Builder into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

Gary passed away March 20, 2002, following a lengthy illness.

"Gary was a visionary of what could be," said the Rev. Ernie Roberts at Gary's memorial service. "A long life may not be good enough, but a good life may be long enough."