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Howard McAskill was born in the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster on November 23rd, 1948. His family moved from Victory Heights in New Westminster to the west end of Rochester Road in the historic Burquitlam area in 1956. He attended Alderson, Mundy Road, and Brookmere Elementary Schools, as well as Como Lake High School before graduating from Centennial School in 1967 and U.B.C. in 1971.
A life-long enthusiasm for cars and motor sports developed as a youth, with many weekends spent with friends at the Westwood Race Track or the Arlington drag strip in Washington. McAskill had relatives who worked as British car mechanics or for firms that were sponsors of Westwood events and McAskill was inspired by his family doctor, C.C. Wilson who was an avid racer and President of the Sports Car Club of BC. Wilson was instrumental in getting Westwood Race Track built and served as its Director of Development for many years.
McAskill enjoyed multiple employment experiences dominated by a 25 year membership in the I.W.A. covering his time at Fraser Mills, followed by 20 years in operations with Catalyst Paper and predecessor firms before his retirement in 2010.