A Sign of Support

IGA customer and restoration expert, Mark Unrau, is restoring the store's sign

Story by Dan Ferguson, Langley Times, Jan 25, 2011

A Langley man has volunteered to restore the 50-year-old IGA sign that survived the fire which destroyed the Lee family grocery store in Fort Langley on Jan. 3.
Custom car builder Mark Unrau lives within walking distance of the store, the only supermarket in Fort Langley. He’s been shopping there 20 years.
The Lees always remember your name, Unrau notes, a personal touch he appreciates. “They’ve got the best foods,” he adds.
Among other things, he’s a big fan of their whole wheat buns.
When the Lees modernized the more than 70-year-old building at Glover Road and Mavis Avenue a few years ago they kept the old-style IGA sign that was hung outside the entrance about five decades ago.
When Unrau saw the sign had managed to escape the blaze relatively unscathed, he offered to repair it free of charge.
“These guys are just like my family,” Unrau says. “I just wanted to do it for them.”
This is the first times he’s ever volunteered for anything, he says.
He is hoping to get some other businesses involved to supply materials for the restoration.
The Lee family has told Unrau they may have to adopt the new style IGA signs if they are able to rebuild.
If they do, they told him they will put the restored sign on display inside.
On Wednesday, the sign was resting on a dolly at the back of Vintage Coach Works, the Langley shop where Unrau takes aging cars and transforms them into sleek, better-than-factory-condition machines.
On first look, Unrau was pleased by the condition of the sign after he scrubbed off the soot left by the fire.
Other than some minor heat blisters, the fiberglass is intact and so are the metal and electrical innards.
He plans to take the sign apart, sand down the blisters, repaint everything and replace the aging internal fluorescent light illumination with something modern.
It will take about a month, he estimates.
Much like the cars that come through his shop, the sign will be better than it was when he’s done.

See full story in Langley Times including video of Mark Unrau repairing sign by clicking here: http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/langleytimes/news/114592574.html.


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