FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — May’s Co-op Community Champion has volunteered his auctioning services to many benefits and non-profit organizations over the years.
With around 35 years of experience as an auctioneer, Brian Baldry lends his services free of charge to events benefitting local organizations or families in need. Recently, he ran the auction at a fundraising event for the Gilpin family after they lost their home to a fire in April.
The reason he volunteers his time is simple: he likes to help people, and he hopes if he is ever in a situation where his family needs help, the community will rally to help him out as well.
“It could be me in a position that needs help. I hope it is never me, but I’m hoping that if something does happen to myself or my family, people jump forward and help us out too, if it comes to that,” said Brian.
Before agreeing to help out with a fundraiser, Brian makes his decision based on the charity, where the funding is going, and how much work has been put into the event. In the past, he has volunteered his services to many local organizations, such as the Women’s Resource Society and the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation.
Growing up in the Peace region, Brian’s passion for auctioneering came from going to many cattle and horse auctions with his dad. Brian and his family also became friends with the Patterson family, who ran an auction market in Dawson Creek at the time, resulting in his love for auctions growing even more.
“I just enjoyed listening to the auctioneers do the chat, and over time you just get listening to it, you enjoy it. It was something I always wanted to do is get up on the podium and sell livestock.”
Brian graduated from the Western Canadian School of Auctioneering in Lacombe, Alberta and ran his first auction, the Shriner’s Auction, when he was 21.
Brian credits his progression to the established auctioneers in the area, such as Mike Kosick.
“You learn a lot from these guys who got experience and are really good. They explained a lot. They pointed out my good and bad points and what I needed to work on, and it just progressed after that.”
Over the decades, Brian has worked at many auctions in B.C. and Alberta, besides volunteering his services to charities. However, being an auctioneer was never his full-time job — it’s always been his passion.
He says there can be really good money in auctions, but he has been fortunate enough to have a secure job at the Canfor mill in Fort St. John.
For those wondering what it takes to be a professional auctioneer, Brian says you have to be fluent so the crowd can understand you, quick to keep a nice rhythm during the auction and have a good eye so you don’t miss any bids.
“It’s one of the hardest skills is catching every bid. Over the years, in every sale, you do miss a bid. There’s no getting around it. Hopefully, people will holler if you miss their bid, or some people are a little shy, they don’t, and then you feel bad afterwards when you find out you miss their bid.”
Brian was born in Fort St. John, raised outside of Goodlow, and has been in the Peace region most of his life.
Outside of working and auctions, Brian is also a rodeo announcer and loves to hunt and ride horses.
Congratulations to Pauline Lindley for being selected as May’s Co-op Community Champion.
Co-op highlights people in Fort St. John who should be recognized for their work in the community. Anyone looking to nominate a community-minded person in need of recognition can head to Energeticcity’s website.