For the past four decades, both Dave Fraser and Norbert Froese have been pillars in the road maintenance industry in Smithers. As of early, May, they will hang up their tools and begin enjoying retirement.

“I’m feeling accomplished and excited, but there is a part of me that will be sad to see the daily interactions with these relationships I have built with employees and suppliers come to an end,” said Froese. “It was a pretty good ride, but it’s time to move on and start a new chapter in my life.”

Froese, who moved to Smithers from Prince Rupert in 1989 has spent 41 years in the industry. Dawson Road Maintenance (DRM) is the third contractor he’s worked for as a Trades Warehouse Person in the Bulkley Nass region. Before joining the privatization side of the industry, he worked for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

From left to right: Dave Fraser and Norbert Froese

“I have lots of good memories of working here since Dawson took over in 2019. The thing I enjoyed most was learning about timber bridge materials and the proper parts I needed to order for repairs,” said Froese.

Just as Froese has an encyclopedic memory for niche parts numbers, Fraser takes with him 43 years of road maintenance operational knowledge that cannot be replaced.

As a Machine Operator for nearly a half-century, Fraser became an incredibly reliable employee, helping new hires, providing instruction and stability to the yard.

“Dave’s integrity is off the charts. He has been a guiding light for a lot of the crew and members of management. There isn’t a weather event or situation he hasn’t seen before. He has the solutions to every problem thrown our way and he has been an unbelievable mentor for our new hires,” said Dallas Oben, Superintendent.

Before they called it a career, DRM management made sure to give them a proper send off and celebrated their legacies with a retirement BBQ at the Smithers yard.

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