Driving the Family Business
Mission Towing has been helping out local residents with their vehicles and providing emergency roadside assistance for a staggering 63 years. The definition of a family run business, Ambrose Duperon Sr. decided that working in the sawmills was not the safest environment for his son, Wally Sr., so he and his older brother, Ambrose Jr. set him up in the towing and auto wrecking business. Although he broke his arm the first day on the job, it didn’t stop Wally and with years of hard work, dedication and many missed meals with his family, this has grown into one of the largest and most famous towing companies in the region.
Wally Sr. can still be found in the office every day. At 85 years old, he still has an eye on the business, claiming that this keeps him busy, active and gives the ideal opportunity to stay connected with the family. Reminiscing with son Ken, they talk about the many road trips they made together transporting items from exotic cars to fish all across America.
The 80’s economic crash was one of the harder times, but others misfortunes actually kept the company going as towing repossessed vehicles became a regular occurrence. By the 90’s the internet became a big way to purchase vehicles and the company started towing automobiles from Canada to their new owners stateside.
There has always been huge support for the business from the Mission community, a place the Duperon’ s are proud to call home. With the company’s naturally close ties with the fire department, often in attendance to the same road accidents, it became a natural progression that they should give back to their home town by becoming volunteer firefighters. The Duperon family have given over 80 years of combined service to the fire department and continue to give back to the community through various donations and of course towing Santa in the Annual Mission Candlelight Parade.
More recently the community had the opportunity to repay the family when the body shop buildings were hit by a fire, causing extensive and irreparable damage. In one of their hardest times, one of the memories that stand out is the way everyone rallied to help and they are truly thankful for all the support that came their way.
Highway Thru Hell, a Discovery Channel documentary program, has put both the company and Mission on the map and with last season’s ratings closing out with an audience of approximately 886,000, it has become one of the most watched documentary series in Canada. Gaining a global audience, aired in 170 countries, it is no surprise that the show has just been nominated for an International Rockie Award, which celebrates excellence in television from around the world. Avid viewers regularly appear at the Wren Street property for chance encounters with the team, to get a picture with one of the wrecking trucks or to purchase a Mission Towing toque or baseball cap. Watch the episodes and see for yourself why tow truck drivers are finally getting the respect they deserve.