Remembrance Day – Ben’s Story
As part of Tripar’s 65th Anniversary celebrations, we recently hosted an open house for our local customers and suppliers to thank them for the years of successful business and many more to come. The highlight of the open house was when Ben Sevack, Founder & Chairman of the Board, came in as it was very special for him to see our customers and suppliers, some of over 45 years! He was asked many times during the day, “How did you go from a British Army solider fighting in the Second World War to starting a metal stamping shop in Montreal?”
In honour of Remembrance Day we would like to share Ben’s story….
Ben was born in London England in 1923. After school and on weekends, he would often help in his father’s photographic studio. When the war started, a teenage Ben turned his technical eye to helping manufacture surgical instruments for the war effort as well as joining the Home Guard. His most vivid and frightening memories were during “the Blitz”, where over a period of 267 days his home town of London was attacked 71 times. One evening he returned from the air raid shelter to find his home destroyed.
In 1942 Ben was “called up” and due to his technical background, he was recruited by the Royal Engineers, with their haunting motto “Honi soit qui mal y pense” (evil be to him who evil thinketh). After his 6 weeks basic training, he began his specialized training in the maintenance of field surveying instruments.
Ben travelled to Naples by boat to start his duty. At the time, the army was looking for bodies for the front lines. Luckily the Brigadier on shore noted Ben’s experience as a tradesman and let him continue through to Naples! Ben was stationed throughout Italy. There he found his love of travel and also took advantage of every opportunity from assisting the army medic, learning to ride horses, to learning Italian,German and French. Upon being discharged his Commanding Officer commented how he was always successful with every task he was given, no matter how difficult it was or whether it was outside his remit.
After the war, Ben decided to make a new life for himself by immigrating to Montreal. There, he capitalized on his wartime experiences and his innate drive for success to set up Tripar. The first press that was bought still contained the die to manufacture ammunition shells. As they say, the rest is history.