Nation Valley News
MORRISBURG — Beavers Dental bit into their 70th birthday cake while helping Morrisburg celebrate Canada’s upcoming 150th.
KAVO Kerr — or forever known to townies as Beavers Dental — celebrated its 70th year this past Tuesday and Wednesday.
Beavers had their own staff festivities that included raffling off 1,000 tickets for a dinner and a game combination — a two-night stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Toronto and a set of Toronto Blue Jays tickets.
As part of their celebrations they held two consecutive afternoons of tours for the public.
Visitors were divided into groups of five to eight people and were assigned a ‘tour guide’.
The tour guides lead the teams around for 30 to 40 minutes, to the various factory departments. It is a very organized and independent plant.
One of the tour guides — Robert Lozo, Materials Manager— spoke of the maintenance department and said, “One thing we’re grateful for here is having our own machinists on site … they keep things going.”
“If a machine goes down, they have 24 hours to fix it,” the 13-year veteran added.
Preceding the plant tour, everyone was invited to enjoy cake, hamburgers, and hotdogs. Donations were encouraged. Proceeds from the barbecue (over $500 from donations alone) and the baseball ticket raffle will benefit this year’s Canada Day celebrations in Morrisburg.
Beavers Dental is the “largest steel dental bur manufacturer in the world,” expressed Lozo.
Dentists use burs to drill teeth.
While Beavers’ burs are impressive, just as remarkable is their packaging, with 146 different methods to suit their clients. “We put just as much effort into our packaging as we do our burs,” he explained.
And after seven decades, the future still looks bright for the local plant after a brush with Mexican outsourcing.
Several years ago, Beavers shifted a portion of its production to Mexico. However, the strategy did not go as planned, and the firm has since returned much of that production to Morrisburg, according to Lozo.
70 Years of Business at Beavers Dental
Seventy years is a long time. Just to put things into perspective: When George Beavers first purchased the company (then called the Challies Brush Company) back in 1947, merchants sold bread for 13 cents, a brand new house went for $6,600, and the average yearly wage was $2,850.
The company has since grown immensely, with over 180 staff and ever-changing technology.
The roots run deep at Beavers Dental, as evidenced by two employee families that have been represented on the payroll since the beginning or nearly so. A series of Jarvis family members — Hugh Jarvis, Lisa Mackler, and Gary Jarvis— have worked for the company since Beavers first bought it. The Veley Family — Betty Casselman, Fred Veley, Joanne Stone, and Linda Veley St Denis — commenced their loyalty 60 years ago.
“If you were to come back here in another five years, you would see a significant difference,” said Senior Supervisor of Maintenance and Facilities Tim Cryderman. “The technology is just changing so fast.”
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