Alan Haime


Last year was the 150th anniversary of David Dunbar Buick’s birth in Arbroath
Scotland. Buick Owners Club of WA member, Ian Carrington-Jones passed
on a newspaper article, clipping and photos given to him by a friend who
attended the event when a plaque was installed commemorate his birthplace.
The plaque has been fixed to the wall of the only remaining building in Green
Street (apparently high up the wall out of vandals’ reach).
The following is an excerpt from the Arbroath Herald, dated 14 September
“Plaque unveiled at moving ceremony.
Many famous men have come from Arbroath — James Chalmers, inventor of
the adhesive postage stamp; and Patrick Bell, inventor of the reaping machine,
to name but two. Few people however, have ever associated the name of
Buick with the town. But David Dunbar Buick who was born in Green Street in
1854 has ensured that the name of Buick is one of the most famous names in
motoring history.
David Buick’s innovative skills were to earn him his place in the history of the
motor industry and that the man, who helped launch a giant industry, whose
name has appeared on more than 32 million automobiles over 90 years, was
honoured at a ceremony, in what is left of Green Street – Lodge St Vigean No
101, yesterday when a plaque marking his birthplace was unveiled by Buick
General Sales and Service Manager, Robert Coletta. A number of vintage
Buicks from the company’s 100-year old history were on display.
The plaque reads:
“David Dunbar Buick – September 17, 1854 – March 5, 1929. American
motoring pioneer and founder of the Buick Motor Company of America.
David Dunbar Buick was born at 26 Green Street, Arbroath which lay
approximately 90 metres north of this, the only remaining building to show
the line of the original street. Sponsored by the Buick Motor Division of the
General Motors Corporation of America”
Plans for the plaque and dedication were arranged by Buick Public Relations,
Angus District Council and Eric Buick, an Arbroath resident who became
interested in David Buick because of his name, but who claims no genealogical
link to the Buick firm’s founder. Buick executives in Europe on business also
participated in the dedication. Along with Mr Coleta, the party included Chris A
Wolf, assistant general sales manager for customer satisfaction, and Rick
Pellafone, director of customer assistance.
Mr Coleta said, “Buick has been one of the great names in American
automobiles through virtually all of the 20th century. It is certainly appropriate
for us to honour this man, not only because his name identifies our automobiles,
but because his genius and hard work formed the beginning of an unsurpassed
automotive success story which is still being written.”
On behalf of the Angus District Council, Provost Brian Milne said, “We are
honoured to have helped Eric Buick and Buick Motor Division in providing this
tribute to the life and achievements of David Dunbar Buick.”
“It is most fitting that the founder of perhaps the worlds most famour car
company was born in Arbroath, a town which has traditionally prided itself in its
engineering excellence.”
Mr Eric Buick, no relative of David, said he first contacted Buick Motors in 1991
with a view to writing an article for the “Arbroath Herald” annual. “I am
absolutely astounded that so many people have turned up to make this such a
special occasion. It has taken several years to come to fruition but it has
turned out very well. This plaque represents a man who was an engineering
genius and the true fighting spirit he showed throughout his life. I would like to
thank the Brethren of Lodge St Vigean No 101 for their help and for allowing us
to use their building: Angus District Council who organised the ceremony; and
Buick Motors”.
A letter of fraternal greetings and a Lippenon Angus plaque was presented to
Mr Coletta by Provost Milne on behalf of the people of Arbroath”.
Arbroath local dignitaries unveil the plaque. Eric Buick is second from right.
Ian also provided the following clipping covering the plaque unveiling event.
L Haime (WA Buicks)