Darrell Dooly drove a 1956 Cockshutt 30 tractor in the tractor pull. Morin Photo

EDWARDS – Customers, clients and family friends flocked to Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm on the weekend to support one of their rural institutions, the Skuce family and their business Skuce Repairs.

Much of Skuce Repairs, a garage that services all kinds of tractors as well as other mechanical services was destroyed by a devastating fire on Dec. 26.

Skuce Repairs was established in 1988 by Linda and Albert Skuce. Through their business the Skuce family became everyone’s favourite neighbour and go to business in Eastern Ontario.

Before the fire was completely extinguished, Earl Stanley owner of Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane farm was making plans to fundraise for the Skuce family.

“We all came up with this right after the fire,” said Stanley. “We wanted to help them get back up on their feet.”

Stanley mentioned the history of the Skuce family in the area and the longstanding friendships that were created by doing business with the Skuce family.

“Ron’s dad was a friend of our family,” said Stanley. We dealt with all of them.”

Months later on Sat., June 12, Stanley held a vintage tractor jam on his farm. The event featured Allis Chalmers tractors and equipment, a favourite of the late Albert Skuce who started his tractor repair business in Vernon as well as other brands thanks to the co-sponsors of the event, Vintage Iron and Traditions.

Linda Skuce visited the event and was thrilled and humbled by the effort made to help her business and her family.

“This is just amazing.” she said. “We will be fine. We just keep plugging away. I can’t believe the support we have.”

“I was told Earl started thinking about doing this while the fire was still burning,” said Linda.

“He brought some cookies over after the fire and I was in the shop and he said, “You’re going to be ok; you will be better than you were before.”

She said the plans have been made to rebuild their shop and now all they have to do is wait for Ottawa to approve the plans.

“We have the down payment on the building, so it is in the works.”

Despite the outpouring of support, Linda felt the farmers hit by the destructive windstorm needed help.

“We will be fine. No one was hurt.”

There was a tractor pull, musical entertainment courtesy of Ginette Hamilton and an auction by Stewart James and Family Auctioneers as well as a swap meet.

Ottawa Coun. George Darouze was at the event and said the Ottawa Fire Services had been very supportive and at the fire, had managed to save many of the older instruction manuals of the older tractors.

“The Skuce family have been in the community for many years looking after the farmers, the people who put food on our table.”

Years before Coun. Darouze was the president of the Osgoode Snowmobile Club. He became friends with Ron Skuce one of the Skuce’s sons during his time as a snowmobiler.

“Our groomers used to break down from time to time. When we were out grooming the trail, usually at night when it was minus 20 C to 30 C and at 3 a.m., we would call Ron and he would be right there,” said Darouze.