Fisher’s Esso Celebrates 60 Years Of Serving St. Agatha

Brian and Allan Fisher’s popular full-service garage is the hub of the community in rural Wilmot.

Current owner Allan Fisher holds up a photo of the business his father founded in 1961.

Current owner Allan Fisher holds up a photo of the business his father founded in 1961.

After Gord (Gordon) Fisher moved to St. Agatha with his wife Mary in 1959, he raised a family, founded a community, and built a business. That business, Fisher’s Esso, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

Gord was a bricklayer, and because his work dried up in the winter, he decided to change trades. In 1961, he and his bricklaying buddies constructed the full-service garage on Erb’s Road that was initially called Fisher’s Sunoco.

His oldest son, Brian, remembers sitting in the window of the family’s home, counting the cars that went by at different times of day. This was so his dad could show the Sunoco representative that there was enough passing traffic to sustain a service station. Younger brother Allan’s earliest memories of the garage are of their dad looking dapper in his Sunoco uniform, including a peaked cap.

Brian worked at Fisher’s part-time while still at high school, switching to full-time after he graduated. He left to start an apprenticeship at Kitchener Auto Electric, and five years later he found himself back at the garage with Allan. Al has worked there since he left high school nearly 49 years ago.

“My father had it all figured out,” said Brian. “He wanted to pack it in, so he was luring me back. After a year or two, he said ‘You guys are buying the place!’”

After Gord (Gordon) Fisher moved to St. Agatha with his wife Mary in 1959, he raised a family, founded a community, and built a business. That business, Fisher’s Esso, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.  Gord was a bricklayer, and because his work dried up in the winter, he decided to change trades. In 1961, he and his bricklaying buddies constructed the full-service garage on Erb’s Road that was initially called Fisher’s Sunoco.  His oldest son, Brian, remembers sitting in the window of the family’s home, counting the cars that went by at different times of day. This was so his dad could show the Sunoco representative that there was enough passing traffic to sustain a service station. Younger brother Allan’s earliest memories of the garage are of their dad looking dapper in his Sunoco uniform, including a peaked cap.  Brian worked at Fisher’s part-time while still at high school, switching to full-time after he graduated. He left to start an apprenticeship at Kitchener Auto Electric, and five years later he found himself back at the garage with Allan. Al has worked there since he left high school nearly 49 years ago.  “My father had it all figured out,” said Brian. “He wanted to pack it in, so he was luring me back. After a year or two, he said ‘You guys are buying the place!’”  Brian and Allan Fisher took over the family business from their father, Gord. Former employees have fond memories of both generations of owners.  Brian and Allan Fisher took over the family business from their father, Gord. Former employees have fond memories of both generations of owners.  The brothers took over in 1979, and the business changed its name to Fisher’s Esso in 1995 when it switched gas supplier.  “Dad retired and went back to laying bricks, building chimneys and fireplaces,” said Brian.  Gord passed away in December 1996, a month before his 72nd birthday.  The Fisher family has a long history of serving the community. Brian remembers back in his youth that locals would travel to Wellesley to use its community centre, until the St. Agatha Park Board decided to host outdoor dances and other fundraisers to build their own.  “Everybody had a good time. We’d raise a thousand, two thousand dollars in a night. Whatever we raised, Ontario would match.”  That money paid for materials, and the labour was donated.  “(The St. Agatha Community Centre) was built by volunteers,” recalled Brian. “Dad was a bricklayer, there’d be electricians, and they’d all work together.”  The Township took over all of Wilmot’s community centres in the early 2000s after the province mandated that municipalities should take ownership, a decision that still irks some St. Agatha residents because of all the effort that locals put in.  Brian retired from the garage six years ago to focus on beating cancer. Now he’s enjoying life “playing golf, cutting grass, and drinking beer.”  The brothers aren’t planning a big bash to celebrate their anniversary. “We’ve had enough parties over the years,” said Al. “We used to have birthday parties for the seniors here in town. They’d sit in the back room for about an hour or so, have a few drinks, and we’d have a cake.”  As always, it’s the people in this tight-knit community who matter most to the Fishers.

Brian and Allan Fisher took over the family business from their father, Gord. Former employees have fond memories of both generations of owners.

The brothers took over in 1979, and the business changed its name to Fisher’s Esso in 1995 when it switched gas supplier.

“Dad retired and went back to laying bricks, building chimneys and fireplaces,” said Brian.

Gord passed away in December 1996, a month before his 72nd birthday.

The Fisher family has a long history of serving the community. Brian remembers back in his youth that locals would travel to Wellesley to use its community centre, until the St. Agatha Park Board decided to host outdoor dances and other fundraisers to build their own.

“Everybody had a good time. We’d raise a thousand, two thousand dollars in a night. Whatever we raised, Ontario would match.”

That money paid for materials, and the labour was donated.

“(The St. Agatha Community Centre) was built by volunteers,” recalled Brian. “Dad was a bricklayer, there’d be electricians, and they’d all work together.”

The Township took over all of Wilmot’s community centres in the early 2000s after the province mandated that municipalities should take ownership, a decision that still irks some St. Agatha residents because of all the effort that locals put in.

Brian retired from the garage six years ago to focus on beating cancer. Now he’s enjoying life “playing golf, cutting grass, and drinking beer.”

The brothers aren’t planning a big bash to celebrate their anniversary. “We’ve had enough parties over the years,” said Al. “We used to have birthday parties for the seniors here in town. They’d sit in the back room for about an hour or so, have a few drinks, and we’d have a cake.”

As always, it’s the people in this tight-knit community who matter most to the Fishers.