Guy Tombs Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Industry Updates December 08, 2021

Guy Tombs Limited held its 100th anniversary celebration December 1 in Montreal, themed “Welcome New World.” The event featured speeches, door prizes, music and refreshments.

Guy Tombs Limited’s first day of business was December 1, 1921. Founded by Guy Tombs (1877-1974), the company has provided international freight forwarding service from its inception.

Here is a transcript of the speech delivered by Guy Tombs at the event. Delivered at les Salles de Bal Windsor – Dec. 1, 2021



Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  I am Guy Tombs. Exactly 100 years ago today on December 1, 1921, Guy Tombs Limited opened its doors on Beaver Hall Hill.  For many years I have wanted to hold an event on this evening in this place. We are so happy you have joined us tonight. We are thinking about our associates and colleagues of many years. We are also reconnecting this evening for the future, taking strength from friendships, and from each other’s experience and resiliency.

On entering this beautiful hall you saw the words in different languages saying, “Welcome New World”. Why am I saying New World?  What New World? It is my belief that the cataclysm that we have been living through has forced us to redefine the global picture in many ways. Many of us have taken stock, especially during the self-isolation periods. We have had to re-assess our lives and our organizations.  We want to make things better. We want to broaden our horizons.

During and after the lockdown periods here and around the world, people of every nationality have reflected on and debated the vital issues we are facing. The pandemic has exacted a terrible toll on the world. But with reverses of fortune there are, and will continue to be, many lessons learnt.  I know that from our company’s long history. Thank-you for having faith in us and for being here.

What is Welcome New World? It means we welcome New Realities.  But it ALSO means that we want the new world to welcome us, to accept us, to respect us and our contributions. Many of us have felt, during this time, that we have been starting from scratch. We have had to master new skills. In many cases we shut down and then re-opened. We have watched the drama of the global pandemic in every country with concern and compassion.

This was the Ballroom of the Windsor Hotel.  The Windsor Hotel was where the most powerful people in the transportation industry would gather and make big decisions.  Guy Tombs Limited had its 25th Anniversary celebration here in December 1946. I remember my grandfather Guy Tombs proudly treating our family to a nice supper at the hotel’s restaurant when I was seven. 

I have asked myself TWO key questions over the past year many times, thinking ahead to this evening: FIRSTLY – How did we do it?  How did we survive and prosper over these 100 years? I believe that when thinking long term, off into the future, it is very important to always go back to first principles. We must think back to our starting point to understand how to get to our destination. It is not all about goals – it is about who you are and what you are made of.  This is important for all the members of our team.

And SECONDLY – How does one develop a long-term vision? A business life can be humbling. We learn much more from our failures than from our successes. Business rewards success and seems to penalize failure.  But business is also about converting shocking failures into remarkable successes. There is over time a rhythm to these events, a way of building recovery from failure. Where we want to be in 5 or 10 or more years is worth imagining NOW. When we look at the future like this, NOW looks very different.  A vision requires imagination.  However, it all comes down to people – which is why we are here tonight. Why do we care so much about the people we relate to each day?

  • The quality of the people around us, in whom we are placing our trust, is of ultimate importance to us.
  • Where people are doesn’t matter – their exact location – as much as their words, their voices.

Спасибо – Merci – Thank-you

Cette célébration nous donne l’occasion de renouer avec nos amis, nos collègues et bien sûr d’afficher le fait que nous sommes prêts pour un futur aussi plein d’énergie que dans le passé. En entrant dans cette salle magnifique, vous avez sans doute lu <<Bienvenue à Ce Nouveau Monde>> . Pourquoi <<Nouveau Monde>> ? Voici l’explication du titre de notre soirée: <<Bienvenue à ce Nouveau Monde>>. Au fait, on acquiesce la venue de Nouvelles Réalités.  Mais on veut aussi continuer à nous faire respecter pour tout notre travail et notre contribution.

Plusieurs d’entre nous avons eu parfois le sentiment de retourner à zéro pendant cette pandémie, mais nous avons pu contourner ces temps de défi devenant plus forts et plus efficaces pour trouver des solutions. Nous sommes dans la Salle de Bal de l’Hôtel Windsor.  Cet endroit historique de Montréal était le lieu où d’importantes décisions ont été prises au sujet de transport. Je me rappele aussi que mon grand-père avait invité toute la famille au restaurant de l’Hôtel quand j’avais sept ans.

Pourquoi portons-nous une attention particulière aux gens que nous cotoyons chaque jour ? Les personnes de qualité qui font partie de notre entourage quotidien, en qui nous avons pleine confiance, est d’une grande importance. De toutes façons, ce qui compte, ce sont les gens, notre entourage, et c’est pour ça que nous sommes ici ce soir.