We strive to a business built on good practices and charity back in to our community. Woodland Jewellers Ltd., located in beautiful British Columbia, has been providing customers with superior service, great value, and jewellery of superb quality for over 80 years. E.G. ‘Tony’ Woodland opened his watch repair shop in Williams Lake in 1933. Since then, the business has grown to include custom design, in-store jewellery repairs, Canadian Diamonds and gold, and a variety of exciting modern jewellery and gifts. Today, the Woodland Family’s fourth generation, Geoff Bourdon is proud to carry on the family business! Come and see us today!
E.G. “Tony” Woodland
E. G. “Tony” Woodland apprenticed as a watch maker in Revelstoke in 1911 and following his service in World War 1, worked for two jewellers in Edmonton. In 1933 the Woodlands moved to the small town of Williams Lake. With a population of approximately 200, boasting a total of 7 automobiles, in town jewellery was considered a very luxurious item to the towns’ inhabitants. Cattle were selling for 1 1/2 cents a pound. When Tony started repairing watches in a tiny leased premises in MacKenzies Hardware Store, with a typical month’s earnings being less than $100.
The cost to clean a watch was $1.50 and even that was hard to come by in the 1930’s. In 1946 Tony had built the business up enough to purchase his own premises.
During his years in the jewellery industry Tony had many accomplishments, both personal and professional. This included Honorary Life Member of BC Jewellers Association 1958, 50 year member of Canadian Jewellers Association, Founding member & 1st President of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139, Official time inspector of PGE Railway, and 20 years services on the Hospital Board, among others.
Ralph & June Woodland
After serving in World War 2 Ralph decided to join his father in business. In 1948 Ralph graduated from the C.T.V. School of Watch-Making in Vancouver. In 1950 he became a full partner and 15 years later (1963) bought Tony’s shares in the business.
In 1966, Ralph successfully completed the Graduate Jewellers course from the Canadian Jewellers Institute and in 1978 received his Diamond Grading & Evaluation Certificate from the Gemological Institute of America. Still striving to gain knowledge he became a member of the Canadian Professional Jewellery Appraisers, went to the George Brown College in 1982 and received his Casting Certificate. In 1985 he completed his 4 year apprenticeship in Jewellery Manufacture and Repair. He also received certificates in Advanced Jewellery Repair, gold casting, stone setting and his Gemology certificate in Diamond & Coloured Stones from the GIA.
Ralph was also very community minded and was an official timer for the Williams Lake Stampede for over 20 years, a City Alderman for 2 years, a volunteer firefighter, a member of Kiwanis, Elks, Masons, Shriners, Legion and a Charter Member of the Lions Club, WL Badminton Club president and the Remembrance Day parade commander for years. To improve his business Ralph also helped to found the Di-Gem buying group, which helped him to search out and offer jewellery at a better price to
Believing strongly in ethical business practices Ralph was involved in organizing the Jewellers Vigilance Canada Incorporated, an organization that monitors the trade and practices of the industry.
Ralph’s wife, June, joined the business in the 1970’s, restringing pearls and beads and working with the customers. In 1973 Ralph expanded the business to its present location bringing some of the old cases that Tony had built for his first store, a legacy from the past.
Cindy Watt & Brenda Bourdon
Ralph & June’s daughters Cindy and Brenda started out helping as youngsters washing floors and wrapping gifts. Both worked after school as teenagers cleaning and helping the customers with Brenda doing the engraving.
Cindy returned to the business full time in 1980 with Brenda joining full time in 2006. Cindy and Brenda expanded the business to bring in new products and were pleased to be able to offer Canadian diamonds and fine jewellery as well as a wide variety of fashion jewellery while they worked in the family business.
Cindy has also kept up with the family tradition of community service. Volunteering as WL Stampede Association treasurer for 8 years, WLBA president, Regional director of the Northern BC Winter Games, served on the Economic Development Commission, the Downtown Parking Commission, Community Policing, Communities in Bloom and was President of Ladies Soccer Association. She also served on boards for the Di-Gem Group and the Canadian Jewellers Association.
Cindy and Brenda both retired in early 2020.
Geoff & Kendal Bourdon
Geoff Bourdon, Brenda's son, the fourth generation at Woodland Jewellers has successfully completed the Gemological Institute of America’s Graduate Jewellers course and is employing his talents in jewellery repair, custom design and goldsmithing. He is very keen to challenge his talents with expanding the business further. He continued the family’s community service when he was a member of the City Council of Williams Lake, serving two terms from 2008 to 2014.
Geoff’s wife, Kendal, came in to the business in 2015 as Geoff’s Custom Jewellery Coordinator and continues to work with Geoff doing administration for the store.
With Cindy and Brenda’s retirement in early 2020, Geoff is now proud to carry on the family business that has been 88 years in the making.
GEOFF & KENDAL BOURDON