60 Years of Building “Any body for anybody”

Company Patriarch John Medemblik , Fergus Operations Manager Ken Swaving and Allan Margarson chat at the Walinga’s 60th Saturday.

FERGUS, ON — After having constructed an astonishingly successful trailer-building company with more than 280 employees in five locations selling custom-built trailers to customers across the globe from Argentina to Zimbabwe, you might expect a guy to be somewhat proud of himself.

But nope.

“I just say I’m very blessed,” John Medemblik told a reporter Saturday at Walinga Trailers’ 60th Anniversary open house. “Very, very blessed.”  

Six decades earlier, 15-year-old Medemblik, a blacksmith fresh from Holland, started working with the man who would later become his father in law, Cornelis Walinga. 

And in the commemorative book the company distributed to the hundreds of visitors Saturday, here is how Medemblik the patriarch recounts those early days.  

“By the providence of God both of us ended up in the area north of Toronto and through my attraction to the brown-eyed dynamic daughter named Rita, our lives became entwined and the seeds of the dream began to sprout.”

The two men were soon joined by Robert Lodder, who had married the younger Walinga sister, Trudie.  The three men and their families (Rita and John had 10 children!) built the Walinga Body and Coach company, now called Walinga Inc., but still very much a family affair.

And so they invited neighbors, customers, staff and their families to a huge open house Saturday, during which visitors could tour the facilities to see just how high-tech and carefully engineered each custom-built Walinga specialty trailer is.

Another 60th Anniversary Celebration is scheduled for the Carman, MB., branch on Saturday Sept. 27th. If it’s anything like the Fergus affair, guests can expect regal treatment. In addition to the huge outlay of food and refreshments, the Medembliks showered visitors with gifts—hats, books and commemorative paraphernalia and coloring books for the kids.

(Want a fun and challenging way to learn more about Walinga’s range of products and services? Click here, print off and solve this cool Walinga Word-Search, which was included in the lootbags.)

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