Ab Newman at the pulpit he purchased from Wales and brought to Williams Lake to use as his podium. Monica Lamb-Yorski photos

SMART 55: Hub City Auctions owner hanging up the gavel

After 43-year legacy Hub City Auctions to close

After running Hub City Auctions the last 43 years, owner Ab Newman is preparing to host his last sale.

“I’m too old to cut the mustard,” Newman said, adding he will hold his final auction on Saturday, Sept. 7 at its South Lakeside location and said he will continue into the day until everything is gone.

“It’s been a family affair,” Newman said as he and his daughter, Amber, arranged items on the tables.

“She was a baby in the back when we first got going. Our son Scott ran the concession when he was about five years old.”

Born in Paradise, Nfld., he got his start auctioning when he was in the Royal Canadian Air Force, and after serving overseas, he saw a listing for an empty building for sale in Williams Lake.

“An American owned the building at the time. Originally it was Hodgson Freightways and I think Mr. Letters had a carpentry shop here, but it was closed for years and years.

“I thought it would be a good auction building so I bought it,” he said.

The Newmans moved to Williams Lake in 1976 and he held his first auction in 1977 and has been going ever since.

Most of his collection comes from people in the Cariboo, some from different estates.

When asked about fun things he’s auctioned off, he said a live tarantula and an empty coffin — although he thinks someone slept in it for a day or two.

Read more: History goes to the highest bidder

Regularly, Newman said he auctioned items from the government and many different organizations.

When a church closed down in Chester, Wales he purchased a pulpit so he could use it as a podium.

“I thought it would look good in here and it’s been pretty good to me.”

Holding up a basket woven by an Indigenous person, Newman said those are the types of items he really treasures.

“It’s good, good stuff. This is a Tsilhqot’in basket, extremely rare,” he said picking up a basket from a table.

Walking over to a display case he pulled out a lock and key.

“Where else can you find solid brass locks with keys? This is my favourite one here — how would you ever get into it?”

Over the years it’s been the thrill of watching people buy treasures and take them home and appreciating the items as much as he does.

Anywhere from 50 to 100 people show up for an auction.

“As long as I have two or more I’m OK,” he added, causing Amber to chuckle.

Once he auctioned the Chilko Lake Resort for “big” money and he sold several properties for the government in a slide area on Hazel Street in the Juniper area.

“That was kind of different, selling lots of houses and things. I sold cranes, trucks, cars, artifacts, jewellery, stained glass windows.”

Pointing to a framed black and white portrait hanging on a wall he said it could be his sister, but it wasn’t.

The auction will start at 10 a.m. and will go until he’s done.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Ab with his personal scouting collection.

Ab Newman auctions off cakes at Boitanio Mall in the 1980s. Tribune archives

Ab Newman (centre) with his wife Heather (left) and their daughter Amber.

Just Posted

Police ask public to keep eye out for stolen Peterson Contracting work truck

Thieves drove the work truck through the closed bay doors

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue invites community to attend auto extrication open house Sunday

In 2018, CCSAR hosted a recruitment drive targeted on growing its Land Search and Rescue Team

Freezing rain warning issued for central Interior Remembrance Day

Highway alerts in place for Begbie Summitt and Pine Pass

VIDEO: Don Cherry says he was fired, not sorry for ‘Coach’s Corner’ poppy rant

Cherry denies he was singling out visible minorities with his comments

Report predicts drug resistance likely to kill 400,000 Canadians by 2050

This increase is expected to cost Canada 396,000 lives, $120 billion in hospital expenses

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Most Read