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Dan moved to Turner Valley with his family in 1925, and started in the oil industry at a young age, working with his father's casing crews abandoning wells.
In 1941, Dan attended radio college in Vancouver and received a Marine Second Class Commercial Radio Operator's Licence and spent the next few years stationed at various air bases across Canada. After Leduc No. 1 came in, Dan saw an opportunity in oilwell servicing and joined forces with his father and school friend, Harry Alger, to form Widney Well Servicing in 1951.
The company prospered and soon expanded its operations into B.C. and Saskatchewan. For 30 years the company serviced Imperial Oil's Leduc wells. Widney Well Servicing was sold to Dresser Industries in 1966 and Dan continued on as manager until he bought the company back in 1971. Ten years later the company was again sold, this time to General Electric. In 1986, Mr. Widney acquired the assets of Brockham Oilwell Servicing and soon his sons Mark and Scott joined him in business. Five years later, he was able to purchase Widney Rig assets and the Widney name from General Electric.