The final days before the holiday break felt a little different for Ernesto “Ernie” Discaya this year. On Friday, Dec. 22, Discaya retired after 16 years with Dawson International Truck Centres at our Kelowna location.
“I’m very excited for retirement. It’s been a great journey with Dawson and I am ready to see what is next,” said Discaya.
Discaya has one of the more unique stories of all our Dawson employees. He was hired as a Service Technician in 2007, when Dawson International Truck Centres was formerly known as Cookson Motors Ltd., from the other side of the world. It was growing up in the city of Marikina near Manilla in the Philippines that Discaya discovered his passion for mechanical technology.
“I always liked cars and motors growing up. I knew I wanted to be a mechanic from a very young age,” said Discaya.
Along with his desire to work as a mechanic, Discaya had always dreamt of living in Canada one day. He had heard about the career opportunities and lifestyle that was available on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
Discaya began to live out half of his dream back in the Philippines. He completed trade school in Manilla and earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology and enrolled in a mechanical engineering program before working for Meralco Manila Electric Company in 1984, a sizeable electric power distribution company, where he was a fleet mechanic.
Along the way, Discaya became aware of an immigration lawyer from his hometown that worked in Vancouver. The lawyer specialized in finding suitable careers for those wanting to work and live in Canada. Almost immediately, Discaya saw the technician posting. Before he knew it, he was living out the second half of his dream, living and working in Canada by 2007.
The transition was tough at times. English was not his first language and he was living alone until he brought his wife, four sons and youngest daughter to Kelowna into a house in 2011. At that point, he was set: his kids had access to great education with several career opportunities after graduation, he lives in a great community with lots of activities available for his family to do together, he advanced his education with Navistar to become a Master Certified Technician and the daily demands of his job are everything he ever wanted.
“I got the opportunity to work on everything: heavy trucks, trailers, International Trucks and many other kinds of trucks. Whether it’s transmission issues, differentials or anything else, I’ve loved working with my hands and making these trucks run better,” said Discaya.
He’s also been surrounded by a great team that helped him adapt to the new environment. John Kupchanko has been with Dawson International Truck Centres for nearly 24 years as a Service Technician and now a Shop Foreman in Kelowna. Discaya credits Kupchanko with helping his adjust to his new surroundings.
“He came across the world by himself in order to help out his family. That’s pretty incredible,” said Kupchanko. “For him, the work has been the easiest part of his journey. He’s very diligent, always has a great attitude and a great work ethic, he’s reliable and is determined to troubleshoot any problems he encounters. He’s been great to work with all these years.”
As for his retirement, Discaya is looking forward to supporting the opening of his wife’s new restaurant and catching up on family time, which will include a three-month family vacation back to Manilla.
We’re hiring at our brand-new location! If you are interested in enjoying a career that offers professional development opportunities and the opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art facility, then please check out our Careers Page for the latest postings.