Huron hon­ours gro­cery guru

The London Free Press - - LOCAL -

Gro­cery ty­coon Galen We­ston is get­ting a new hon­our from his alma mater.

Huron Univer­sity Col­lege at West­ern Univer­sity is grant­ing an hon­orary doc­tor of di­vin­ity de­gree to We­ston, a Cana­dian busi­ness icon and mem­ber of the Or­der of Canada.

“Galen We­ston is not only a great Cana­dian, but also one of the most ac­com­plished per­sons to have ever stud­ied in the more than 150year his­tory of Huron Univer­sity Col­lege,” Huron prin­ci­pal Barry Craig said Tues­day.

“Galen We­ston in­her­ited an iconic Cana­dian com­pany and grew it into an enor­mously suc­cess­ful in­ter­na­tional en­ter­prise that has brought jobs and pros­per­ity to tens of thou­sands of peo­ple.” Now the chair­per­son of lux­ury de­part­ment store Holt Ren­frew, We­ston first ran re­tail and gro­cery stores in Ire­land be­fore tak­ing over the Loblaws chain of gro­cery stores in 1972, which was then run by his fa­ther. The once-strug­gling re­tailer thrived un­der We­ston’s lead­er­ship.

Last year, We­ston passed the reins of the com­pany to his son, Galen Jr.

We­ston’s Huron con­nec­tion per­sisted long af­ter he grad­u­ated. In 2008, he cre­ated the W. Galen We­ston Fund for Bri­tish his­tory, a pro­gram that sup­ports the univer­sity’s de­part­ment of his­tory.

We­ston’s hon­ourary de­gree is the sec­ond ma­jor an­nounce­ment from the West­ern Univer­sity af­fil­i­ate in a month.

In Oc­to­ber, the school ap­pointed Cana­dian busi­ness leader Prem Watsa as its chan­cel­lor, the first in the 154-year his­tory of the col­lege.

The chair­per­son and CEO of Fair­fax Fi­nan­cial Hold­ing is some­times called “the War­ren Buf­fet of Canada,” and was cho­sen by the col­lege’s board of gov­er­nors.


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