March, 2013 – We are celebrating our 75th Anniversary! We’re very proud of our past and would like to take this opportunity to thank our valued customers, suppliers, and staff for their continued support and loyalty.
Akhurst Machinery was founded by William (W.A.) Akhurst in 1938. Mr. Akhurst moved to Vancouver in 1903 and worked as a sales representative for Canadian Fairbanks Morse Co. Ltd., a Montreal based machinery sales organization. He became the sales manager and worked at Fairbanks for 30 years. In 1937 he decided to start his own distribution company out of his home in Vancouver. In 1938 W.A. Akhurst Machinery Co. Ltd. was incorporated and moved in to the 17th floor of the Vancouver Sun Building in downtown Vancouver. Shortly after World War II, in 1945, W.A. Akhurst was joined by his son H.W. Akhurst (Spud), who served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy during WWII. He received early medical discharge when his ship, the HMS Alberni was torpedoed and sank in the English Channel. In 1946 Frank Akhurst, the brother of H.W. Akhurst returned to Vancouver after spending 17 years in the U.S.
On June 6, 1950 W.A. Akhurst passed away and H.W. Akhurst assumed the Presidency. Frank Akhurst was forced to retire due to illness and passed away in February 1955. Under H.W. Akhurst the company would thrive. In 1955 W.A. Akhurst Machinery Company Limited relocated to a new office and warehouse at 215 West 2nd Avenue in Vancouver, and later to a larger facility across the street at 216 West 2nd where they were for over 30 years. The 1960’s were an expansion time for Akhurst Machinery where they opened branch offices in Edmonton, AB in 1960; Toronto, ON in 1961; Montreal, QP in 1965; and Moncton, NB in 1970. Currently the company employs close to 80 people in their five offices and continues to be the only woodworking equipment distributor with offices covering across Canada.
Akhurst Machinery Group of companies also includes Akhurst Machinery Inc., Cantek America Inc. and Leadermac USA Inc. who are set up to distribute equipment through their U.S. operations.
The company is still family owned, by brothers Bruce and Brian Akhurst. The company’s leadership also includes Eric Stebner who is acting president of the company. Akhurst Machinery has moved into its 4th generation of operations with the additions of Graham, Ryan, & Brent Akhurst.