The Mount Royal Culinary cook off committee is thrilled to welcome Larry Romaniuk back to the stage for this year’s event. Romaniuk is a third generation auctioneer who shared his talents with the Mount Royal community last year, impressing the crowd with his ability to rattle off tongue twisters and his skill in getting the highest price for the items up for grabs in the live auction.
Romaniuk is a professional auctioneer who used to own an auction company. He’s currently working as a correctional officer but plans to get back into the auction business later this year.
Romaniuk spoke to our former emcee, Trisha Estabrooks about his love of “going once, going twice, going three times…. SOLD.”
How long have you been an auctioneer?
Since 1997, I graduated from auction school in Regina. It’s an auctioneering training centre and it is a two week program that’s all practical. They teach you cadences and tongue twisters and then we practice that.
What inspired you to become an auctioneer?
My grandfather was an auctioneer for a number of years, he did farm auctions and estate auctions and my two uncles and my father were also auctioneers so it ran in my family. It was in our blood and I enjoyed the feel of auctioneering because it encompasses so many things from selling antiques to selling farms and automobiles and I’m an antique collector. So two reasons, first of all, because my family was in it and I also have a passion for collecting.
Tell me about how you practice, how do you prepare for an auction?
I practice every day. Throughout the course of the day when I have a free moment, if I’m having lunch or if I’m by myself somewhere I do a cadence for a few minutes or I’ll do a tongue twister. That’s how I keep my voice in tune.
Can you give me an example of a tongue twister you use?
Betty bought a bit of butter, that’s a tongue twister that I use almost every day, it’s an elaborate tongue twister. What it does is that it challenges your mind and your vocal chords to be in sequence because your mind has to sort it out and at the same time your vocal chords have to be able to blend everything in a rhythmic pattern. When I’m with my wife, sometimes I’ll pretend to sell an item.
What do you love about it?
I love the challenge of selling an item. I love interacting with the crowd. I like the uniqueness of the sale.
The Mount Royal auction, likely smaller than other auctions you’ve done, but really important to our elementary school. What do you like about our live auction?
The items that I sold, they were very unique and the fact they were created by students that’s what I really enjoyed. Also, to be able to sell an item that’s for a good cause.