WELLAND, ON, Sept. 18 /CNW/ - Lakeside Steel Inc. ("Lakeside Steel" or the "Company") (TSX-V: LS) this week celebrated 100 years of operations at its facility in Welland Ontario. In honor of this extraordinary achievement, Lakeside Steel hosted a day-long celebration to mark this historic event at its facility in Welland, Ontario on Wednesday September 16, 2009.
The History of Lakeside Steel's Welland Facility
Lakeside Steel's business has a long and rich history in the pipe and tube manufacturing sector. Operations at the Welland facilities began in 1909 under the ownership of the Page-Hersey Iron Tube & Lead Company. Over the years, the business expanded, adding new mills and replacing old ones as technology evolved. The Welland business not only persevered through two World Wars, it provided vital support services to both World War efforts. During WW II, the facility supplied shell forgings, boiler tubing for the naval effort, and pipe for the production of aircraft frames, bazooka guns and mortars.
In 1965, Stelco Inc., Canada's then largest steel company, purchased Page-Hersey Iron Tube & Lead Company and, in 1985, the Welland facility became Stelpipe Ltd. Under the Stelpipe banner, the business underwent significant modernization and expanded in various pipe and tube markets including commercial and industrial pipe, automotive, mining and oil and gas. On November 1, 2005, Lakeside Steel Corporation purchased the Welland facility from Stelco and a new company was born.
The Centennial Celebration
The centennial celebration began with a ribbon cutting ceremony for Lakeside Steel's new upset and thread line. On hand to officially open the new upset and thread line were Lakeside Steel's President and Chief Operating Officer, Ron Bedard, together with Canadian Auto Workers National President, Ken Lewenza. The opening of the upset and thread line represents the culmination of Lakeside Steel's $5 million investment and will add 40 new jobs as well as repatriate work that had previously been performed for the Company in the United States.
A ceremonial last "gold spike" was driven in by Ron Bedard, signifying the re-establishment of rail access on the property. The onsite rail access is an important investment by Lakeside Steel that will be available to bring the Company's products, including the new upset and thread products, to market. The Company expects to be shipping product by rail directly from the Welland facility within the coming months.
An extensive open air ceremony in front of Lakeside Steel's main office, consisting of the dedications of a commemorative plaque and historical monument; the sealing of a time capsule constructed from Lakeside pipe; and speeches by management, local and national labour representatives, political representatives from the federal, provincial, regional and municipal levels, along with other local dignitaries. Of note was the powerful speech delivered by 90 year old former employee and United Electrical Workers Union Representative, Mike Bosnich, one of many current and former employees and their respective families attending the celebration. Many of the Company's customers and suppliers were also in attendance. The celebration continued throughout the afternoon and included a barbecue and the Company estimates that overall attendance exceeded 500 people.
Ron Bedard expressed the Company's gratitude to its past and current employees, customers and also for the support shown by suppliers and all levels of Canadian Government for their roles in helping Lakeside Steel to stay competitive.
Ron Bedard stated, "Lakeside Steel is poised to take advantage of the inevitable improvement in economic conditions and we will continue to invest in this business and the region in pursuit of another 100 years of operations here in Welland."
About Lakeside Steel
Lakeside Steel is the parent company of Lakeside Steel Corp. ("Lakeside"). Lakeside, located in Welland, Ontario, is a diversified steel pipe and tubing manufacturer. Lakeside's list of customers includes large oil and gas, mining, automotive and commercial and industrial supply companies. In addition to supplying its products in these industries, Lakeside manufactures pipe and mechanical tubing for the resale market, which is sold to distributors in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States. Lakeside manufactures a variety of products for these industries including oil well tubing and casing, mechanical tubing, pressure tubing, automotive tubing, hollows for redraw, line pipe, heating and plumbing pipe, drill rod and specialty tubing. Lakeside serves customers worldwide, either directly or indirectly, in Canada, Australia and the United States.
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SOURCE LAKESIDE STEEL INC.
For further information: For further information: Ron Bedard, President & Chief Operating Officer, Lakeside Steel Inc., Tel: (905) 735-7473, Fax: (905) 735-9069, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ken Hunter, Chief Financial Officer, Lakeside Steel Inc., Tel: (905) 735-7473, Fax: (905) 735-9069, email@example.com