Howard L. Roberts 1924-2003
Founder of Crest Sheet Metal
Howard Roberts started in the sheet metal trade at thirteen in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan at Montgomery Brothers. Howard joined the Air-force and moved to British Columbia to work at the Abbotsford Air-force Base when the Second World War began. After the War he moved to Victoria and onto Pacific Sheet Metal where he worked until 1954. Howard was always interested in starting his own business and in 1955 he took over “Circle Sheet Metal” one year later the name was changed to “Roberts Sheet Metal 1956 LTD.” This business continued to 1963 when Howard sold the company to “Cook and Talbot” a heating and oil company. In 1964 he went to work for Russell Food Equipment as a Sales Representative and Mechanic. He oversaw jobs and sold small wares and equipment all over Vancouver Island. However, he missed having his own business, and he saw an opportunity to own the “Trick and Joke” shop which he bought in 1965. After a successful two year run he sold the shop and went on to work in Sales again, selling boilers and heating systems at Victoria Coal and Heating.
Crest has been operating in Victoria for 43 years.
In 1969 Howard decided to start Crest Sheet Metal Ltd. Howard had a good number of Restaurant customers in the Fish and Chip Industry. This is when Howard started researching the new requirements for Fire Systems pertaining to new insurance codes. The Fish and Chip Association had 35 members and were buying and storing their goods in bulk. Howard contacted “Fyr-Fyter Co.” of Canada to see if he could get certified to supply their new Range Guard, wet chemical fire extinguisher systems. As it turned out, they were looking for a suitable representative. Crest Sheet Metal and Fire Extinguishers became one of British Columbia’s first fire system installers with 35 orders from the Fish and Chip Association and over 100 systems at DND in the next year. Crest Fire Extinguishers was off and running! Howard continued owning and operating Crest Sheet Metal until his retirement in 1987. His son Lloyd Roberts took over at that time.