Signature Electric Profile: Rob Geddis – Finding his home and his calling in Canada

2021.11.05

Signature Electric’s veteran electrician travelled a long and interesting road to find his ultimate career

 
Rob Geddis has become one of Signature Electric’s most established and well-respected electricians, with 16 years of experience servicing commercial and residential projects.

And it all happened because of dogs and the threat of rabies.

Rob, a South African native, never imagined himself coming to Canada, let alone thinking of it as home. Growing up in Johannesburg, his father was a bricklayer who advised Rob to learn a trade. Get a professional foundation, he told him, then decide what you want to do after. So, at 17, Rob began working in the electrical trade. Rather than being a stepping stone to something else, Rob discovered he liked electrical work and had a genuine talent for it. He decided to stick with it, continuing in the field until he became a professional electrician at 21.

Work was steady, involving installing large, high-energy machinery. Unfortunately, crime in South Africa was becoming a growing problem. When Rob’s car was stolen at gunpoint, he decided it was time to leave. His girlfriend was Canadian, but their first choices to relocate were the U.K. or Australia. Unfortunately, both countries had strict quarantine rules for dogs to prevent the risk of rabies.

Canada had no quarantine regulations. So in 1999, Rob, his girlfriend, and their dogs, moved to Toronto. In 2005, he joined the team at Signature Electric.

The work and the personnel fit like a glove. Signature Electric’s service-based work gave him the daily variety and flexibility he’d always wanted. Every day is different, with jobs that can take 30 minutes or three months. As someone who couldn’t see himself sitting at a desk all day, Rob knew he had found the right position with the right company.

According to Rob, “Mark’s a great guy to work for. Nobody’s looking over your shoulder watching what you’re doing.”

In 2010, Rob travelled back to visit family in the U.K. and South Africa. Despite the urgings from relatives to stay, there was no question: Canada had become his home.

The past decade has seen the jobs change, mostly in the area of green technology, which didn’t exist when he started his career. Installing electric-vehicle chargers and solar panels is very different work than installing machinery. But in the end, “Electricity is electricity… no matter what country you’re in”, he shrugs. “Voltages might be a bit different, but the theory and practical work behind it is the same.”

How did he adjust to learning the new technology? “You’re thrown into the deep-end. And after you’ve done it for awhile… then there’s a course!”

Most of the updates involve keeping up with the electrical codes. Rob explains, “There was hardly anything in the electrical codes about EVs a few years ago; now there’s a whole section. You have to be up on all of them”.

The bottom line, as Rob put it: “Electricity will let you know if you’re doing anything wrong!”.

We’re confident that electricity, along with the many clients he’s serviced, have nothing but praise for the professionalism and skill Rob brings to each job.

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