When I was 15 I went to West Germany (as it was then) with my high school concert band. We spent two weeks playing concerts and billeting with German families.
Leafing through some of the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce schlock we had given our host families, the father in the house where I was staying noted a reference to one of the city’s oldest buildings.
“How old?” he asked in rudimentary English.
Not knowing, I took a guess at something around 100 years.
The look of disappointment on his face transcended any language barrier. In Europe, 100 years qualifies as fledgling. We didn’t talk about old buildings anymore, focusing instead on our common love of ping pong and ice cream.
It’s safe to assume that German father would not be impressed with the milestone Nash Jewellers is celebrating this year. But for most people in London, Ontario, running a family-owned business for 100 years is indeed noteworthy.
And that’s why I’m glad my story about Nash Jewellers at 100 is running this month in London Inc. magazine and not in the Wangen Weekly Business Journal. On this side of the ocean, it’s kind of a big deal.
The official celebration is in November. That’s when the company will release a coffee table book about its history. Working with an archivist, John C. Nash has been researching his family’s past and putting the book together for months.
He’s the third generation to run the business, following his father, John B. and his grandfather, John A. The pattern ended with the fourth generation. Colin, one of six John C. sons, bought the business in 2010 and moved it to its stylish new home on Wonderland Road North six years later.
With 18 employees, Nash Jewellers offers a surprising array of services. It’s the exclusive home for brands like Rolex, Mikimoto, Gucci and John Hardy. Its talented designers create unique pieces. And its technicians repair jewellry and also fix glasses.
Happy Anniversary Nash Jewellers. The Germans may not care, but lots of families in this part of the world have been relying on you for decades.