OTTAWA, Ont. — The Trailmobile Canada-CTA Service to Industry Award has been presented posthumously to John Robert (Bud) McCaig, former chairman of the board of Trimac Corporation. McCaig passed away suddenly in January 2005, but during his life he was emblematic of the pioneering spirit, entrepreneurship and dedication to community upon which the trucking industry in Canada was built.
The Trailmobile Canada-CTA Service to Industry Award is viewed by many as the highest honour the industry bestows on one of its own. Since 1958 it has been presented to an individual who, by their commitment, vision, leadership and unstinting service, has made an outstanding contribution to the development and success of the Canadian truck transportation industry.
“Trucking is a people business first and foremost, and my father had great people skills,” said Jeffrey McCaig, who received the award on his father’s behalf and has also taken over the reins at Trimac. “He also had a great entrepreneurial spirit that pulled the company through several near death experiences.”
“He was a great man to work for,” said former Trimac president, Andrew Zaleski. “His most outstanding qualities were vision and determination. And he was a tremendous advocate for the trucking industry, as Trimac was, always supportive and involved.
McCaig was born in Moose Jaw, Sask. in 1929 and joined Trimac in 1945, when his father founded it originally as Maccam Transport Ltd. The company was renamed TRIMAC in 1960 after McCaig and his two brothers. Trimac eventually grew to become the largest tank truck operator in North America. McCaig worked his way up through the company’s ranks, becoming its president and CEO in 1970. Trimac went public in 1971, and in 1972 McCaig became chairman, the position he held until his passing earlier this year.
In addition to serving on numerous corporate boards and being a part owner of the Calgary Flames hockey club, McCaig was also a pillar of his community. His many acts of philanthropy included the establishment of the McCaig Centre for Joint Injury and Arthritis Research at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine. McCaig was also Chairman Emeritus of the Calgary Health Trust, and served as Chairman of Calgary Laboratory Services and of the Calgary Regional Health Authority. His awards for business and citizenship include induction into the Saskatchewan Oil & Gas Industry Hall of Fame; Canadian Master Entrepreneur of the Year; and Distinguished Business Leader and honourary doctor of laws from the University of Calgary. Mount Royal College recognized him as Distinguished Citizen. He received the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from Rotary International. And in 1999, McCaig was awarded the Order of Canada.
McCaig is survived by his wife Ann, his son Jeffrey, two daughters, JoAnn and Melanie, and his grandchildren, as well as his younger brother Morris. The award ceremony took place in the West Block on Parliament Hill during a reception hosted by the Canadian Trucking Alliance. The presentation of the award — a charcoal portrait of the recipient — was made by Bert Clay, vice president, sales and marketing, Trailmobile Canada.
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