After 30 years as the Western Manager of the Canadian Fairbanks Morse company, W.A. Akhurst starts W.A. Akhurst Company Limited.
On May 31, 1938, W.A. Akhurst produced the first invoice of W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited to Buckerfields Limited.
Akhurst got started by distributing the popular Esterer Gang Saw. This was the inspiration for our logo today.
H.W. AKHURST JOINS AKHURST MACHINERY LTD.
H.W. (Spud) Akhurst, son of W.A. Akhurst joins Akhurst Machinery Limited after serving in the Canadian Navy onboard the HMCS Alberni which was sunk by a torpedo in the english channel in 1944. Spud was one of the 31 crewmen that survived the sinking which claimed the lives of 59 men.
Mr. H.W. Akhurst with his first means of business transportation. A 1945 Morris Minor.
SUN BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER
In May 1938, W.A. Akhurst incorporated W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited. Mr. Akhurst moved his office from his home to the 17th floor of the Sun Building at 500 Beatty Street in Vancouver, BC. In 1946, the company moved to the 19th floor where they eventually took over the majority of the floor. This historic building has survived the massive redevelopment of Vancouver.
Following the passing of W.A. Akhurst,company ownership was then passed to Spud Akhurst.
LARGER VANCOUVER FACILITY
In April of 1955, W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited relocated to a larger facility with a showroom and warehouse at 215 West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, occupying 1/3 of the building at that time. The company would eventually take over the remaining 2/3 of the building in October of 1969.
BRUCE AKHURST, SOAP BOX DERBY CAR
Bruce Akhurst, son of H.W. Akhurst, in his company sponsored Soap Box Derby car in front of the first company station wagon in 1957
Looking to expand his business Spud Akhurst opens a facility in Edmonton, Alberta in order to service the prairie provinces.
In 1961, H.W. Akhurst got together with Ralph Johnson (formally President of Mill Equipment and Distributors Limited) and agreed to form Akhurst Machinery Limited to sell woodworking and mill machinery east of the Manitoba-Ontario border. With this agreement, the Akhurst organizations could give national coverage.
Opening of Toronto Branch under name of Akhurst Machinery (Eastern) Limited
AKHURST-UBJ MACHINERY LIMITED
In December of 1964, Mr. Upton, President of Upton Bradeen & James Limited (U.B.J.) was retiring and the company was having financial difficulties. They asked H.W. Akhurst to go east for a year and act as Vice-President and General Manager. Mr. Akhurst spent 3 weeks in the East and 10 days in Vancouver. In appreciation for Mr. Akhurst’s efforts, it was agreed that as of January 1, 1965, U.B.J. would confine their business to east of the Manitoba/Ontario Border. Akhurst would take over all their machine tool machinery and supply lines in the west. The name of W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited was changed to Akhurst UBJ Machinery Limited. The eastern branches assumed the name of Akhurst Machinery Limited.
Opening of Montreal Branch under name of Akhurst Machinery (Eastern) Limited
NEW ALBERTA BRANCH
Purchased and moved Edmonton Branch to current location of 9615-63rd Ave.
NEW BRUNSWICK BRANCH
Opening of New Brunswick Branch to cover all Maritime Provinces
LARGER VANCOUVER FACILITY
Akhurst constructs and opens 16,000 sq. ft. warehouse, showroom, and offices at 216 West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, which was right across the street from their existing facility.
APPOINTED AS REFORM AGENT IN NORTH AMERICA
Akhurst forms strategic distribution partnership with A. Rabenseifner & Co of Fulda, Germany to distribute their Reform brand of knife and surface grinders. This strategic partnership still exists today and they have successfully installed more than 1,200 grinders.
FIRST REFORM PURCHASE ORDER
Copy of the first purchase order issued to Reform in 1975, which was framed and given to Bruce Akhurst in 2005, celebrating 30 years of partnership.
Akhurst Machinery Limited opened a branch in Portland, OR in 1977 to service the sawmill industry in the Pacific Northwest.
BEST BOOTH AWARD
Spud Akhurst and his staff receiving the Best Multiple Booth Exhibit Award at the Vancouver Industrial Exhibition in 1981.
Akhurst Machinery Inc. purchases Coastal Machinery Co.
Coastal manufactured high speed planers and matchers, as well as offered repair services for the sawmill and planer mill industry. This was the company’s first venture into manufacturing.
Akhurst purchases 15,000 sq. ft. building in Portland to accommodate the Coastal and Akhurst operations, which included administrative offices, a showroom, and a manufacturing plant.
Akhurst Machinery Inc. opens a branch office in Seattle, WA to better serve the woodworking industry in that state.
C.E. (Ed) Lye is appointed as President. Ed previously served as the company’s head controller. This marks the first non-family president in the company’s history.
Upon passing of H.W. Akhurst, ownership was passed to 3rd Generation Bruce Akhurst & Brian Akhurst. Brothers Bruce and Brian both worked in the company for over 45 years, until their retirement in 2017 and 2016 respectively.
NEW DELTA FACILITY
Move to new Facility in Delta, BC. In the summer of 1997, nearly 20 years after the construction of our building on 2nd Avenue in Vancouver we moved to our current BC Branch location which has over 28,000 square feet of warehouse, showroom, and office space.
CANTEK AMERICA INC.
Cantek America Inc. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Akhurst Machinery) is incorporated in the U.S. In 1985, we made our first trip to Taiwan to investigate this up and coming market for machinery manufacturing. In 1988 we started offering this product in the United States. The relationships formed in these early years still exist today and we have been a significant contributor to the development of equipment in Taiwan.
Eric Stebner is appointed as President upon the retirement of Ed Lye. Eric is the current company president til this day.
Akhurst is appointed as the Leadermac agent in North America. Leadermac is a world-class 4-sided moulder manufacturer.
R-L: Bruce Akhurst, Michael Chang (CEO, Leadermac), Mr. Chang (Owner, Leadermac).
Akhurst Machinery celebrates 75 years of business. To mark this milestone, they hosted a party for their valued suppliers and partners and the WMS show in Mississauga, ON
Ownership transferred to 4th Generation Graham Akhurst, Ryan Akhurst, and Brent Akhurst upon the retirement of Bruce and Brian Akhurst.
L-R: Ryan Akhurst, Eric Stebner, Brent Akhurst, Graham Akhurst
New Mississauga, ON Facility
Akhurst purchased and moved to a larger facility in Mississauga, ON with a state of the art showroom facility, and tripled the warehousing capacity.