Family is Everything According to the Christie Brothers

Family is everything according to the Christie Brothers and they start 2015 with a significant financial commitment to Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph!

Recounting the wonderful discussion we had with Gary and Wynne Christie at their home to thank the Christie brothers for their generous donation to Habitat and then the subsequent photo session at the Christie brother’s periodic meeting place at Williams on Stone Road, we have to marvel at how fortunate Habitat for Humanity Wellington Dufferin Guelph is to have this family committed to helping us build homes for our future partner families!

The Christie Brothers- standing: Gary and Ed, seated: Paul, Kurt, and Noel
The Christie Brothers- standing: Gary and Ed, seated: Paul, Kurt, and Noel

Fast track back to 1967, when Gary who had over 10 years’ experience as a salesman with Moore Business Forms was quite dissatisfied with his career path. He met with his 5 brothers, Ed, Kurt, Noel, Paul and Lindsay to talk about how they could work together to set up their own business. Kurt suggested making money by making burgers. They determined that wouldn’t work for them and then their brain-child came from Gary’s experience in business forms – let’s run our own business forms company. That was the birth of “Fastforms”. Starting off in the basement of Trafalgar Building on Woolwich, Gary was elected by the brothers to take on the role of President, Kurt would be Plant Manager, Ed and Noel would take on Machine Operator positions, and Lindsay and Paul would be more focused as investors in the business.

What an amazing success story – they ordered a press from England that gave them a leading edge in the marketplace but with no experience, there was an acute learning curve to run the press – particularly for Ed!  But they made it happen and for over 43 years, Fastforms grew and grew. As Gary states, “our mother, Mildred, was the saint of our family. We learned our fundamental belief in working hard and smart from her as well as through her dedication to philanthropy, we always knew that giving back was very important”.

Gary read an article in the Mercury about Habitat for Humanity’s 5-year campaign to raise $2 million to build at least 25 more homes for needy families. He called a meeting with his brothers and they decided to support Habitat by donating $80,000 over the next 5 years!

Habitat for Humanity cannot thank this wonderful family more. “They have begun the campaign with a significant donation commitment and it can only go up from there,” remarks Steve Howard, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity. As Gary states, “the importance of family is immeasurable. My brothers and I recognize the need and are proud to give a hand up to our future neighbours.”