To celebrate web Goliath Google announcing that they have restructured and become Alphabet – we’ve decided to give you an A-Z of POCO Building Supplies History, with some interesting facts about our company that you may not be familiar with.

Of course you can rest assured that we won’t be changing our name, or terms of service – and we certainly don’t have any plans to branch out into the world of automobile manufacture any time soon.

We hope you enjoy our little History lesson. Class is in session – do you know your #Alphabet from


A is for Alderman. Second Generation owner, John Galer served two terms as Aldermen in Port Coquitlam.


John Galer – Alderman of Port Coquitlam


B is for Baseball. POCO Building Supplies has been supporting local minor Baseball since the earliest days when Harry opened the doors in 1919. Find out about other Sports Teams we sponsor here.


Vice President Sales and 4th Generation Owner Chris Galer pictured here with the Tri-City Titans Girls Softball Team (2014)

scrabble-letter-c-smlC is for Coal. We hauled tons of black gold in the early days to the Port in New Westminster.


Coal was used extensively during the war and our trucks hauled tons of the stuff around the lower mainland


D is for Drama Award. We’ve been providing a bursary award for the top Drama student at Terry Fox Secondary for 25 years and counting.


We’ve been supporting Creative Arts in local school for decades

scrabble-letter-e-smlE is for Experience. Our slogan is ‘Build on Our Experience’ and the last word is a key factor in the ethos of the company. Nit only do we want you to benefit from our 94 years of industry knowledge – passed down from one generation to the next, but also we want to make sure that you have the best Customer Experience when you shop with us. Read some of our online reviews.


Build on Our Experience

scrabble-letter-f-smlF is for Fire Truck. John Galer served for 21 years as volunteer Fire Chief. John is pictured here mid 1990’s with 1949 fire truck that he drove to Port Coquitlam from Ontario when it was first purchased by the City of Port Coquitlam.


John Galer drove this Fire Truck from Ontario when it was purchased by City of Port Coquitlam

scrabble-letter-g-smlG is for Galer Way. Named after RC ‘Harry’ Galer in recognition of his service as Mayor

Galer Way is located in City of Port Coquitlam's Northside

Galer Way is located in City of Port Coquitlam’s Northside

scrabble-letter-h-smlH is for Harry. Our founding father RC Galer was more familiar with the name Harry.


RC ‘Harry’ Galer – our founding father

scrabble-letter-i-smlI is for ‘I Owe You’. During John Galer’s time as volunteer fire chief, overseeing a crew of that included half of his supply staff – the store would empty when the firefighters hastened to respond to calls. With doors left unlocked, the store remained open for business, functioning under the honour system. Payment, during those times, was an “I owe you” note left on the front counter.


These notes were a familiar sight during John Galer’s time as Volunteer Fire Chief

scrabble-letter-j-smlJ is for Jeff. Jeff Galer that is. Jeff is one half of our 4th Generation of Galer’s in charge of the business. Jeff is Vice-President of Customer Service.


Jeff Galer – VP Customer Service with Cousin Chris Galer

scrabble-letter-k-smlK is for Kinsmen. With materials and transportation – we helped the Kinsmen build Canada’s first Participark in April 1977

scrabble-letter-l-smlL is for Long Service. With several of our longest serving employees with more than 30 years under their POCO Building Supplies belts, we’re known for hanging onto our valued staff members.


1994 – and the top row all still work here

scrabble-letter-m-smlM is for Mayor. RC Harry Galer served as the fourth Mayor of Port Coquitlam and remained in the position for 20 years.


RC Galer served as Mayor for over 20 years

scrabble-letter-n-smlN is for New Location. Our current home at 2650 Mary Hill Road wasn’t our first. In 1967 we moved from our original location on Shaughnessy Street.


We moved to a new (and current) location in 1967

scrabble-letter-o-smlO is for Outstanding Young Retailer. An award our very own Chris Galer won courtesy of Hardware Merchandising Magazine in 2012


Chris Galer was awarded Outstanding Young Retailer of the Year in 2012


P is for Port Coquitlam – because without it, there would be no POCO in Building Supplies!


Port Coquitlam celebrated it’s Centennial Year in 2014

scrabble-letter-q-smlQ is for Quarry Road. Our trucks were used to haul stones and gravel from Quarry Road on an almost daily basis. Quarry Road is located in the North West of Port Coquitlam in beautiful Minnekhada Regional Park.


We made regular trips to Quarry Road to haul Gravel

scrabble-letter-r-smlR is for Runway. When the company was listed as an essential service during WW2, John Galer ran Cement and other materials out to Abbotsford Airport to build the Runway.


We supplied cement and other materials to build the runway at YXX

scrabble-letter-s-smlS is for Shaughnessy Street – our home until 1967 when we moved to our current location on Mary Hill Road. One of our favourite images is of our old trucks parked in front to the old building. We’ve given a nod to this image and our previous location on a brand new window graphic we’ve had installed in July 2015


Our old fleet at the Shaughnessy location

scrabble-letter-t-smlT is for TimberMart. We are a founding member in 1967 and since then the National Dealer Network has gone on from strength to strength.


We were a founding member in 1967

scrabble-letter-u-smlU is for Underdog! We’re kind of a small company – a little fish in a big sea. It’s made us realize that we have a very sound business to be around for 94 years. Statistically, it’s very unlikely that a family business gets beyond a second generation, and less than five per cent get beyond a third, so to make it to a fourth (and hopefully fifth, sixth…) we feel very lucky. It’s a statement about our family and our staff that we have a place that endures the ups and downs. We could’ve easily shut the doors and done something different. Excerpts from an interview with The Now article ‘Four generations hammer the odds’ Read Full Article


Everyone loves an Underdog

scrabble-letter-v-smlV is for Values. Our company is founded on a set of strong family values that extends to the local Community and is evident in our commitment to making our City, local area and Canadian Economy stronger through honesty pricing and good old fashioned customer service.


Left to Right: Joe, Lynette, John and Bob Galer

scrabble-letter-w-smlW is for World War II. John Galer lost his two brothers-in-law during the war – one of whom, Douglas, had worked at the store. John himself was barred from serving in the Canadian Forces following the government’s decision to list the company as an essential service.


Lest We Forget

scrabble-letter-x-smlX is for X-mas Sweaters. Ugly ones! Every year we participate in Ugly Sweater Day and raise money for The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada with the help of


LOOK at those ugly xmas sweaters!

scrabble-letter-y-smlY is for Young Blood. The youngest Galer currently in the ranks is Kelsey Dawn Galer who certainly brings a youthful and bright energy to work on a daily basis


She’s a Lumberjack and she’s OK!


scrabble-letter-z-smlZ is for Zach – who thankfully helps us out when he’s not at University, and without whom we would not have been able to finish this A-Z. Thanks Zach!zac

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