MAIN PHOTO: Gerald Burgess, owner/operator, of Burgess Service Centre fills up a customers vehicle with full serve. (Healey photo)

FALL RIVER: An end to an era will come today, April 27 when the doors are locked up one last time at Burgess Service Centre on Highway 2 in Fall River.

Gerald Burgess, owner and operator of the business, confirmed on April 24 that he had sold the property.

“It’s about time,” said Burgess when asked why he decided to close. “I’ve been here long enough.”

What the property will become is unknown, although there are rumours in the community of what that will be.

Burgess Service Centre has been operating for some 40-plus years under several banners. It was an independent gas retailer.

Sasha Brideau was a customer of the gas station. Sasha said in a Facebook the news of the closure was sad and surprising.

“The old building has been standing there since before most can remember,” said Brideau. “It’s been through dozens of changes, renovations, and owners.

“It’s been a staple of our community that I’m sure we all just assumed would always be there, I know I did. Hell, Ricky even robbed it on an episode of the Trailer Park Boys.”

The sign says it all. April 27 is the last day of it being in business. (Healey photo)

Brideau said the biggest loss the community aside from this historic building, is one of the best mom and pop shops this province has ever seen.

“I worked for Gerald through high school, and then again for a bit in college. I remember him calling me across the street my first night of work to ask how I liked my steak,” Brideau said. “I thought he was joking. But he was not. He and his incredible wife Darlene would make us a plate of supper every night and run it across the street.

“You always knew you were more than an employee there. You were part of the Burgess family.”

The service station on a mid-Friday afternoon. (Healey photo)

Burgess said that the decision was in the process before COVID19 had hit, but the pandemic made the decision more at ease on his mind.

“Covid19 didn’t help,” he said. “I’m glad I’m getting out of it at this time as gas keeps going down.”

Burgess said he’s looking forward to being semi-retired.

He said customers have wished him well upon learning of the news.

“They’re sad I’m closing,” he said. “I’m the last full-serve station around here,” he said. “That’s who I feel sorry for the most is the people who get full service, now they won’t be able to get it

Sasha had a message for the community as Burgess Service Centre closes.

“I strongly encourage everyone to stop in for one last tank of gas at this landmark that’s slipping through our fingers before the wrecking balls swings,” said Brideau. “Join me in wishing the family all of the best in whatever life brings them in the future.

“Losing the old Ultramar feels like saying goodbye to an old friend, and it will surely be missed.”