This year’s sponsor for the Westport Lions annual Spring Draw is Rosebush Energies.
Westport Lions Roar
By Lion Bob Reddick
In 1950, Eugene H. Rosebush, who was working as a welder for Northern Electric, decided to use his skills to fabricate his first tank truck. At the time, coal was the dominate source of home heating, but Eugene saw the future. He fabricated a 1200-gallon tank from scratch and attached it to an old truck. The result was the birth of Rosebush Energies.
In the early days of the company, while Eugene was working, Mrs. Phyllis Rosebush would receive calls for fuel oil. When Eugene returned home from his day job, he began his second job, delivering fuel oil, sometimes late into the night.
At an early age, Eugene displayed the determination that is needed to start and grow a business. During WWII, he lied about his age and joined the navy at 16 years of age. One of his first jobs was to install slanted telephone poles along Canada’s east coast to try to deceive spying Germans that they were large gun placements. The authorities discovered Eugene’s true age, and he was discharged from the navy. His father had to go to Halifax to bring young Eugene home.
Rosebush Engeries has always been a family business. All of Eugene’s sons were involved in the business at one time until they left to start their own businesses. Earl and Eugene Jr. drove trucks while brother Brian pursued the HVAC side of the business. Now Derek and his father, Earl, operate the Rosebush Energies. They take pride in being a family business with 75 employees. Earl and Derek are working owners and still deliver oil/propane on a regular basis.
Derek Rosebush, like his father and uncles grew up working in the business. He started out as a gas attendant at one of their gas stations. In 2003, after graduating from Carleton University he joined the family business full time. In addition to managing the business with his father, Derek is a licensed HVAC technician and a petroleum mechanic.
Derek’s daughter, 14-year-old Abigail is the fourth generation to work in the family business. Abigail pumps gas and fills propane cylinders in the summer. Her dad proudly says, “She doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty.”
Derek and Earl are proud that for 73 years Rosebush Energies still carries on the tradition of providing excellent service delivering fuel products as an independent, family owned and locally operated company.
Over the years, Rosebush Energies has grown from providing only fuel oil to propane, motor fuels, and lubricants for both residential and industrial use. Derek now estimates that propane makes up 90 percent of the home fuel business. They now have depots in Hartington, Newboro, Campbellford, Cobourg, Kingston, and Belleville, handling over 30 million litres of fuel annually.
The Spring Draw will be held at the beach on Canada Day. Tickets are $5.00 each, and three for $10.00. They will go on sale soon. First prize is $1,500 cash, and second prize is $500. All proceeds from this draw will go towards maintaining the beach.