James (Jimmy) Gunn was born in New Westminster. He worked for the Motor Vehicle Branch of the B.C. Provincial Police and was transferred to Mission City in 1945. Gunn was active in a variety of community service and sports groups and headed a project under the auspices of the local Rotary Club to construct the first public swimming pool in Mission. He is most noted for being the founder of the Mission City Soap Box Derby, an annual event which ran from 1947 to 1973.