This Victoria vendor has a lot to look forward to in the new year
Holiday Profile: Fred Willingdon
“My wishes for 2017 are basically that my sales keep increasing, and hopefully I get to spend more time with my children and my grandchildren—as a result of my sales getting better. My daughter lives in Abbotsford and then my son lives in Queensborough and my younger son lives in Port Coquitlam. For 2017 I might take a multimedia course at Camosun College; I’m hoping to get through that and then see from there. Right now I’m taking an intermediate computer course.
“It’s been really good. I think to tackle homelessness in the next year, the government is kind of on the right track. It’s not an easy issue; it’s got so many facets to it. We’re talking about micro-housing over here, and building more units for homeless people. So like I said, there are so many facets to it. But I think our local government is doing as much as they can, which is nice to see. But, provincially, I don’t know if for Christy Clark it’s really on the front of her agenda, it’s more or less middle of the pack, not quite as important to provincial government as it is for us in Victoria to get solutions to help people get housing.
“At the municipal level it’s something we face every day, but at the provincial level, there are other matters that always seem to take precedence, unless a city can come up with a proposal that the government just about can’t refuse. My hopes for Megaphone, I just hope that we get a wider customer base than what we have right now, although it’s pretty good, and Megaphone just keeps growing and we’re going to need more vendors over here. I’ve got several people I’ve told to go to a training session, so I hope to see at least a few of them go and get the training.
“It’s a good business. My fears for 2017—I’m not happy about Trump getting in across the line, I don’t think that’s going to be the best but we’ll live with that, some people are already saying he might break four years but they don’t think he’ll make eight, so we’ll see. It’s kind of unfortunate for people down there that it happened that way, I was hoping that Hillary would get it. But there were just too many circumstances that made it so she didn’t get it.
“I didn’t think she would be a good fit because I don’t think the United States is ready for a woman president yet, I think down the road they might be, but not right now. But other than that I don’t really have any fears for 2017, it’s kind of all positive stuff! This time next year I’ll be dealing with my union pension of 30 years working in the forestry industry, and then basically working toward retirement and hopefully my magazine sales just keep going up and up and up and I can get something for the interim until I turn 65.
“I keep a really positive attitude and hope for the best. My message to readers is we publish the poor and the homeless and other publications might not, and it’s a job opportunity for us as well as part of our proceeds go towards the homeless and other community projects.
“It’s surprising how many people already know that and that’s why they come and buy.”
Fred Willingdon sells Megaphone at the Co-op at Johnson and Government in Victoria.