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OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

Longtime Surrey auto dealer and community builder Sherrold Haddad has died.

In Surrey, Haddad is perhaps best known as the man who brought the giant Canadian flag and pole to his Guildford-area car dealership in the 1980s.

Hayne posted word of Haddad’s passing on his Facebook page Saturday morning (March 28).

“I’m sad to hear of the passing of a dear friend and mentor Sherrold Haddad,” posted Hayne, a former Surrey city councillor. “An amazing man, business person and community leader. You will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with Marina and the Haddad family.”

At the age of 90, Haddad died on Friday morning (March 27), according to his grandson Bruce Haddad, who said his grandfather had suffered ill health in recent years.

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After operating Chevrolet dealerships in Winnipeg and Medicine Hat, Haddad moved to the Lower Mainland and continued to excel in the automotive industry, setting up shop in Guildford in the early 1970s.

The business became Flag Chev Olds in the late 1980s, when Haddad purchased the huge, 86-metre flag pole once located at Expo ’86 in Vancouver and moved it to Surrey at a cost of close to $250,000.

The dealership later became Flag Mitsubishi, when General Motors ran into financial difficulty.

In 2012, Haddad sold the automotive business on 104th Avenue, where the 3,200-square-foot Canadian flag still flies.

• RELATED STORY, from 2017: Surrey’s big Canadian flag destroyed again, meaning another big bill for auto dealership

“It’s time, I’m not getting any younger and I want to do other things,” Haddad said at the time, explaining the decision to sell his dealership to Barnes Wheaton.

“I haven’t really been spending enough time with the (Surrey Memorial Hospital) Foundation, or the Variety Club, as I should be. And those things are very important to me.”

Haddad’s legacy in Surrey includes helping to raise more than $10 million for the Children’s Health Centre that opened at Surrey Memorial Hospital in 2001. He also gave $100,000 toward the ER expansion at SMH in the early 2010s. Another $100,000 gift from Haddad supported a 100-seat lecture theatre at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey campus.

“There is no doubt that Sherrold is one of the legends of the B.C. automotive industry,” New Car Dealers of B.C. president Blair Qualey said in a 2012 profile of Haddad posted to autotrainingcentre.com. “He combines true business acumen with a give-back attitude and was one of the leaders that shepherded the development of local car dealers being the philanthropic hearts of their communities.”

Tom Zillich

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Tom Zillich

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