Quality Service...The Tradition Continues
John Sutherland began his insurance career in 1870 with the Gore Fire Insurance of Galt. By 1875 he joined Robert Cunningham Agency in Guelph, which was to become the foundation of John Sutherland and Sons.
As an Insurance agent for the Cunningham agency in the 1870's, he made trips to Wellington, Bruce, Grey and Huron Counties by horse and buggy, and in the winter by sleigh. At the age of thirty-five he married the former Annie Saunders of Paisley and they had six children.
Many stories have been told of his prowess as an insurance man. When the railway line was established by 1875 to reach Paisley, he traveled by rail, then rented a horse and buggy or sleigh and drove to outlying villages to see clients and find new ones. In the 1890s there was a severe fire in the village of Chepstow, which wiped out the hotel, some stores, and dwellings upstairs. No one had any insurance, and the next day, before the ashes were cold, who should come riding into town with a big hamper of vittles but Johnnie Sutherland from Guelph. He stayed the whole day, and by sundown, he had signed up the entire village.
John Sutherland Jr.
The two oldest sons, John and James, joined the firm in 1907 and by 1922 the youngest son Robert (who was named after Robert Cunningham) followed. Two daughters, Mary and Margaret, worked in the office and Anne went on to gain distinction as the poetess. In association with his sons, the present Company of John Sutherland and Sons was incorporated in 1912. By 1932 he disposed of his interest in the company to his three sons but remained the president.
In 1949, Bob Jr., son of Robert Sr., worked as an office boy while being taught the insurance business by his father and uncle John. In 1968, Bob Jr. purchased the firm from his father and assumed the presidency and Robert Sr. continued as a senior executive until his death in 1978.
After the untimely death of Bob Jr., his eldest son Jeffrey Robert joined the firm in 1980. He worked his way from the bottom up and was named president in 1995. He continues to provide his wealth of knowledge and insurance accumen to our clients today.
After spending summers working in the office from the age of 13 and learning all areas of the business, Zac Sutherland joined the brokerage full time upon completion of his BBA degree. Proudly representing our 5th generation, Zac was named President in 2023.