THE HISTORY OF CWR
How Canada West Region Came to Be.
Porsche has a long history in BC. The first Porsche sold in Vancouver was very likely during the mid 1950’s. There is a wonderful (but unconfirmed) story about one local VW / Porsche dealer who, after having had a good experience selling cars in the first year, decided that for the following year they would order two of every model Porsche made. All was well until the cars were unloaded from the boxcars and there, among the 356s were two Porsche 550 Spyders! This created considerable consternation with the sales staff – though they were eventually sold.
In 1973, at the Porsche Parade in Monterey, Vancouver resident John Macfarlane inquired about the possibility of opening B.C. chpater of the Porsche Club of America. Some PCA executives of the day were firmly against the idea of a region located outside the USA – after all, it was the Porsche Club of AMERICA!
That noted, there was support from some, like Hank Malter, the then zone representative for California, who thought it was an idea worth pursuing and who provided information and support about starting a new region.
Back in Vancouver, a core group consisting of John, Jim Axleson and Bill Botham worked on the idea of starting a region in Western Canada. In the fall of 1974, determined to test whether there was sufficient interest, organized a dinner at the Airport Inn in Richmond. Word was spread by newspaper ads (imagine that), along with direct mail to known Porsche owners. (John obtained the entire BC Porsche owner list from Volkswagen Canada – along with a stern warning not to share the list with any dealers).
The dinner was a resounding success with over 70 people in attendance!
After the initial gathering, a number of meetings were held over the fall and winter of 1974. Finally, enough people in BC were found joining the PCA through the Pacific NorthWest Region located in Seattle area such that BC was able to apply for its own Regional status. The PNWR group provided valuable support to our region, turning over their share of Regional dues rebates attributable to members transferring to Canada West (much to the relief of the original three who had been funding costs out of their own pockets).
The application was submitted in March 1975 and the Charter was granted in April. The first official Charter Meeting of the Region was held at John’s home in May 1975 with many members of PNWR in attendance to cheer our success. The Charter was presented by the late Mick Williams, then the Zone Representative and later the President of PCA.
Canada West Region was the first Region in outside the USA, and included all of BC and Alberta. Subsequently Polar (Edmonton), Vancouver Island, Wild Rose (Calgary) and BC Interior Regions were spun off, and in the East, Upper Canada Region was formed.
A big thank you to John, Bill and Jim, and all the early executive, volunteers and members for giving CWR such a great start!