Turnbull, William James

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Turnbull, William James

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        1886-1982

        History

         William (Bill) James Turnbull, the son of a Presbyterian Minister was born in Ontario in 1886. He began his career in the lumber industry as a tally boy at the age of 14, and moved West to Edmonton in 1912. After managing a lumber yard in the Prairies for nearly a decade, Bill moved to Vancouver in 1924 to work for the Vancouver Lumber Company, which owned a mill in North Vancouver. The mill often delivered lumber to West Vancouver, and Bill realized there was a demand for lumber in the area. After the North Vancouver mill was destroyed by fire, he decided to pursue the opportunity.

        He moved to the muncipality in August 1925 to start the West Vancouver Lumber Company Limited. His lumber yard was located at 15th Street and Marine Drive. It was a prosperous operation for the first three years, but the company struggled after the depression and during the war years. Despite taking on two partners, the company went out of business in 1944.

        Bill Turnbull's personal interests included tennis, and he was a member of the West Vancouver Tennis Club for many years. He also used to curl outdoors on the Prairies, and missed the sport, and so in the early 1930s, he invented a special table, and rocks for an indoor curling game which he patented in Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. In 1947, he had an indoor curling club, of about 50 members, that played above Ambleside Drugs, at the corner of 14th Street and Marine Drive. In 1949, Bill Turnbull registered his indoor curling equipment business, ROXX Manufacturing Company, which was in business until 1961. William James Turnbull died on October 2, 1982 at the age of 96.

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