Atco, making the world smaller.

Once in Shanghai, I met a medical exchange student from Ghana. He asked where I was from, I replied, "Calgary". He smiled and asked, "Do you know Mr. Atco? He is a great man".

I smiled knowingly. I spent four summers during University living and working in Atco trailers.

My Ghanaian friend went on to tell me the hospital and school in his village were both Atco structures. For a time he thought "Atco" was the English word for house or building. One day his teacher informed him "Atco" was the name of the owner of the company that built "traveling" homes. Further, Mr. Atco came from Calgary, the same city the missionary teacher was from.

I explained to my new friend, there had been a misunderstanding. Mr. Southern and his family were the primary owners of Atco Group and the original name was Alberta Trailer Company. And, I did not know the guy.

For those that don't know, Atco Group started in Calgary during the late 1940's and evolved into a globally diversified and well respected company. The Southern family also built Spruce Meadows, an international equestrian facility. Go Calgary.

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