Manitoba

From 'Jump to the Pump' to years in Senate, Douglas Everett left a lasting mark on Manitoba

Douglas Everett, the founder of Domo Gas and a former Manitoba senator, has died at 90.

Everett founded Domo Gas in 1958 with 3 pumps on the lot of the family's Dominion Motors dealership

Douglas Everett was an inspired businessman and a dedicated family man, according to his son-in-law, former Manitoba Progressive Conservative Leader Stuart Murray. (Manitoba Business Hall of Fame)

Douglas Everett, the founder of Domo Gas and a former Manitoba senator, has died.

He was 90.

Born in Vancouver in 1927, Everett  served as a sub-lieutenant in the navy from 1943 to 1947. He later attended the University of Manitoba to attain a law degree and was called to bar in 1951.

He founded Domo Gas in 1958 with three pumps on the lot of the Everett family's Dominion Motors car dealership. The Domo name is an abbreviated version of Dominion.

It expanded to a handful of stations set up on the corner of Safeway parking lots in Winnipeg in 1970. 

His son-in-law, former Manitoba Progressive Conservative leader Stuart Murray, says Everett came up with the idea of using the Safeway lots when he noticed people were parking there but shopping elsewhere.

"So he basically made a pitch to Safeway and said, 'Look, you know, if you give me a small footprint on the front of your lot I will generate revenue for you, and I will also set up an opportunity to bring people onto your lot that will get, as they coined the phrase, Jump to the Pump service,'" said Murray, a past CEO and president of Domo.

Douglas Everett served as a senator for Manitoba from 1966 until 1994. (Submitted by Kate Everett)

Although the oil companies tried to squeeze Domo out through price wars, the company persevered and now operates 80 retail outlets from Winnipeg to Vancouver.

In 1966, Everett was appointed to the Senate as a Liberal but left the party in 1990 in dispute over the GST. The tax was introduced by the Conservative Party, with whom Everett sided on the matter. He spent the rest of his time in the Senate sitting as an independent.

Murray remembered Everett as a dedicated family man who would often lead his six children in Judy Garland songs after dinner.

"And as they were singing, the next thing you know they were all doing the dishes in the kitchen," Murray said. "And the next thing you know, as the songs are getting completed, so are the dishes. So he had this ability to sort of engage people and create fun and get the job done."

Everett resigned from the Senate in 1994 but during the last few years he wasn't able to attend as much as he felt he should, so he returned his salary to the government. The gesture made international headlines, including in the National Enquirer, the biggest weekly supermarket tabloid in the United States.

Everett, who died Tuesday, was still involved in Domo and went into the office regularly until last year, according to Stuart.