Mill Managers At Grand Falls Paper Mill 1905-2009

Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company

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Mayson M.Beeton, President, Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company 1905-1908. Beeton oversaw the construction of the mill and the town. He was the face of the Harmsworths in Newfoundland.

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Mayson M. Beeton

John.P Riley, Permanent Superintendent 1909-1910 According to Grand Falls-Windsor, The Place and Its People: “Throughout 1910 the mill operated under the experienced eye of an America J.P Riley. ” He left at the end of the year and was replaced by Jones. An unpublished history of the AND Company. originally Riley was superintendent of construction. Mr. Riley was the permanent superintendent and he was assisted by a “staff of American Foremen in charge of the various departments”. According to the same history Riley was a tough boss, and interestingly enough, lived in the Cabot House while he was at Grand Falls. He was noted to have been both respected and feared and possessed super-human energy. There were quite a few Americans involved in the early construction of the mills including, Lincoln, Hardy, Dorrity, Remson, Jim Berwick  and Thomas and James Judge. To the best of my knowledge Tom and James Judge, who were Electrical Superintendent and Assistant Electrical Superintendent respectively and Billy Dorrity were the only ones that I believe stayed for much time after the mill was completed.

Ernest Albert Sursham, long time member of the board of directors for the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company and former secretary to Lord Rothermere. Sursham was “left in charge” at Grand Falls in 1909 as the representative of the Harmsworth Brothers. He had originally been sent to Grand Falls in 1907 to assist Beeton. A member of the inner circle of the Company elite Shursham was on the board of directors for an incredibly long time. Shursham most likely did not oversee much in the way of the operations of the mill, but likely was a figurehead from Fleet Street.

Vincent S. Jones, Superintendent of Paper Mills, 1910-1915. Arriving to replace Riley in March of 1910, Jones had worked in the pulp and paper industry in the North of England and in Scotland. He arrived at 5:00 am and was greeted by Mr. Bailey from the company farm who requested his assistance in delivering a calf! Jones would leave to join his regiment in India during the First World War. He would return to Newfoundland after the war. (See second entry)

Willima Scott Mill Manger 1906
William Scott, Vice President and General Manager Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company Manager.

William Scott, b. Circa April 1868-d.March 1923 Manager 1915-1920. Died March 1923 Vice President and General Manager. A native of St. Andrews Scotland, Scott was another important man during mill construction as he was the resident engineer during construction project. Scott was one of the men who slept on the beach near the falls in first visiting the site with Mayson Beeton, Hardy and Alex Wood. His position in this list is rather ambiguous, but it is my understanding that he may have been senior to Jones during his time in Grand Falls. He is recorded to have been in charge of building the Botwood Railway in addition to the mill. I do believe that Scott had come to Newfoundland to work for the Reid Newfoundland Railway. There is a story that a diary was found in an old desk as the mill belonging to Scott in which it was noted that he had first visited the location for Harmsworth in 1897. His wife Catherine was from Harbour Grace and it may be possible that he may have connections with the Reids and Lewis Miller as well.

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Death of William Scott in March 1923, Evening Telegram.

 

A.E (Albert Edward) Harris, Born Oxford, England, Managing Director 1921-1929. Harris first came to Newfoundland to work with the Albert E. Reed Company when they built their pulp mill at Bishops Falls. His becoming manager at Grand Falls may reflect the AND Company having acquired controlling interest in the smaller operation. Harris was manager during the strike of 1921. He later retired to Brigus. Harris was a noted artist. Harris died in 1933.

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Albert E. Harris. Link
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A.E Harris, at right,  during construction of the A.E Reed pulp mill at Bishop’s Falls, circa 1910.
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G.F Laycock

G.F (George Francis) Laycock, B. Ca. 1885 London, England Vice President (Likely also managing director). 1929-1931. Laycock was a mining engineer and had been involved with mineral exploration for the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company and their subsidiary Terra Nova Properties since around 1907. There is a George Francis Laycock listed as having been an officer in the 180th Tunneling Company of the Royal Engineers during the Great War and was awarded a Military Cross. I am very inclined to believe that this is the same person as it would have been a very appropriate wartime position for a mining engineer. These troops tunneled under no mans land and placed explosives under enemy positions and were sometimes involved in brutal underground hand to hand combat.  Laycock had been heavily involved in the development of the mine at Buchans and his position with the Company may reflect this, as a the time the mine was becoming a cash cow for the Harmsworths. https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/GC/article/view/18540/20101

R.A (Alexander) McInnis, Vice President and Managing Director 1929-1936. After doing further research I am doubtful that McInnis was actually the resident General Manager of the mill although he is listed as such in the list that the Heritage Society produced in 2005. You will notice that the tenures of both Laycock and Jones overlap him. Around 1929 McInnis came to Newfoundland at the request of Lord Rothermere to study the mills at Grand Falls and Bishop’s Falls to determine if a modernization program would be justified. McInnis had considerable experience in the Pulp and Paper Industry. Mcinnis started working in the industry around 1900 and had joined the staff of Abitibi Pulp and Paper (long before their involvement in Newfoundland) in 1914 as assistant to the president of that company. In 1917 he was transferred to Iroquois Falls as General Manager. His involvement with Lord Rothermere and his organization began in 1927  when he took a  position with Anglo-Canadian Pulp and Paper as general manager where he supervised  the building a new mill at Quebec City. ( Abel, Kerry, Changing Places: History, Community, and Identity in Northeastern Ontario (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006). McInnis was charged with the streamlining and improvement of mill operations at Grand Falls after he submitted his report. It can safely be assumed that after working with the operation in Grand Falls and getting the modernization program started there he returned to an executive role at Anglo-Canadian in Quebec City. This is fairly safe to assume, because they named one of their ships for him.

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I could not find a picture of the man, but I did find a picture of the ship. The R.A McInnis was a converted tank landing craft that had been acquired by Anglo-Canadian Pulp and Paper to transport pulpwood from its logging center of Forestville on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence to the mill at Quebec City.

Sir Vincent Strickland Jones. 1874-1967 Vice President Manufacturing, Vice President and Managing Director. 1931-1941 (though I believe he stayed on in some capacity until 1945 or 46). Jones was probably the most notable if not most well liked manager of the mill during its history. This was likely due to his long involvement with the operation and with community matters. Jones originally arrived from England in June of 1910 to take on the position of Superintendent of the Mill.

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Sir Vincent Jones was superintendent of the Grand Falls Mill and later the managing director of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. He had a long association with the region lasting over thirty years. (GFW Heritage Society)

Sir Vincent Strickland Jones KBE cr 1941 (OBE 1918) b 15th Feb 1874; son of late Canon Jones, Burneside, Westmorland; m 1910, Mary, d of late Colonel Joscelyn Fitzroy Bagot, MP, Levens Hall, Kendal;Educ: Haileybury College. Played Rugger for Westmorland County 1893, 1894, Capt 1895; 2nd VB Border Regt, 1900; 4th Border Regt, European War 1914-190; Lt Col AA and QMG Peshawar Division; Afghan War, 1919 (O.B.F dispatches twice); Hon Lt Col Newfoundland Militia, 1940-1945. Went to Newfoundland, 1910, as Mill Manager of Paper Mill at Grand Falls and has been connected with its progress and expansion ever since. 1912-45: Vice-President and Managing Director, Anglo-Newfoundland Development Co. Ltd; Pres Anglo-Newfoundland Steamship Co.Ltd , Director Terra Nova Properties Ltd, Gaspesia Sulphite Co. Ltd, Vice-Chairman Newfoundland Forest Fire Patrol. http://www.clement-jones.com/ps01/ps01_051.htm

Jones Went to Washington during World War Two to negotiate supplying american publishers from Grand Falls. Most of the customers were in the southern states. He had gone to the same school as British Prime Minister Clement Attlee. Jones was the longest-serving manager with the Company and perhaps more than any other left a lasting impression on the town of Grand Falls. Jones was the last manager to have come from the UK. Jones retired back the UK and passed away in 1967 at the age of 93.

R.T Steedman, General Manager 1941(5)-1946? Joined the AND Company in 1937 and had been assistant General manager to Jones for some time. Steedman was reportedly General manager for only 9 months after which he resigned and took the position of Resident Manager of the Marathon Pulp and Paper Company and later became Vice President.

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Philip Gruchy-first Newfoundlander to become Vice President and General Manager of the AND Company.

Phillip Gruchy b. Circa 1892-d. 1967, VP and General Manager October 18, 1946-1952. Gruchy was the first Newfoundlander to rise to the position of General Manager. I believe there was a story that he was picked off the street in St. John’s by Vincent Jones or one of the higher ups who was looking for some promising young men to work for the new company. Perhaps more than any other manager in the mill’s history, Gruchy worked his way up. It was said that: ” it is safe to say that no other member of the organization has had so varied an experience within it. He served successively on the construction of the Botwood railway, at the Botwood shipping department, at woods operations in Millertown, as manager at Bishop’s Falls, in charge of cost systems at Grand Falls, as utility man at head office, and finally, in 1941, as assistant general manager” 1. In 1946 he became vice-president and general manager of the Company.During his tenure as General Manager Gruchy also went to Ottawa as part of the Newfoundland delegation discussing the terms of Union between Newfoundland and Canada, of which he was a signatory. Mr. Gruchy passed away at Charlottetown, PEI in 1967 at the age of 75.

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Philip Gruchy.
Philip Gruchy Appointment
http://collections.mun.ca/cdm/compoundobject/collection/westernstar/id/17226/rec/9
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John Manuel, second Newfoundlander to be mill manager and the first born in the Central Region (http://collections.mun.ca/PDFs/guardian/AG_V03N02.pdf

John E. Manuel 1952-1954. Second Newfoundlander to rise to the position of General Manager. Manuel was also the first from Central Newfoundland, having been born at Northern Arm. Served in World War One, earned a degree in science from Mount Allison after the war. He joined the Newfoundland Power and Paper Company at Corner Brook in 1925, just as operations were starting there. Transferred to International Power and Paper in 1927 (they took over Corner Brook around the same time) whom he worked with at Gatineau and Dalhousie. Joined the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company in 1934 as control superintendent. General Superintendent 1936, Mill Manager 1941. Appointed General Manager on retirement of Mr. Gruchy.

T.Ross Moore.

T. Ross Moore, 1954-1961. Born, June 12, 1912, St. John, New Brunswick.  Moore earned a B.Sc in Engineering from UNB in 1933. He began his career in the pulp and paper industry as a chemist with the Port Royal Pulp and Paper Company in 1934. In 1937 he became the control superintendent of the Gaspesia Sulpite mill at Chandler, Quebec. The Gaspesia Sulfite Company was a subsidiary of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company and a number of senior staff members at Grand Falls came from this mill. He was appointed general superintendent at Chandler in 1946, before moving the Grand Falls the following year where he was appointed mill manager. In 1952 he became the Assistant General Manager at Grand Falls.((Link to Source) Appointed General Manager after Manuel, Moore was GM during a turbulent period. He was GM and the public face of the AND Company during the 1959 IWA loggers strike and was in charge as the merger between AND and Price Brothers was taking place. Following the merger of AND and Price Moore was appointed President of Price Brothers Company Limited. I am not sure if I can call it a merger, but in 1961 Associated Newspapers, Limited, which was parent company of AND Co acquired controlling interest in Price, through an exchange of shares. Although part of the same organization Grand Falls still operated publicly under the name of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company until sometime in 1965 or 66.

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C.R (Charles Robert )Tittemore 1961-1965 Born Regina Saskatchewan 1921. Chemical Engineer. Graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Saskatchewan in 1942. During the war he was supervisor of an explosives plant in Quebec. Joined Gaspasia Sulphite in Chandler Quebec in 1947 as control superintendent. Transferred to Grand Falls in July 1955 as assistant general superintendent, mill manager 1959, assistant General Manager May 1959. Became General Manager after Moore was appointed President of Price. After leaving Grand Falls in 1965 Tittemore became President of Price Pulp and Paper and later Vice President of Abitibi-Price. He eventually ended up in Calgary where he was the first executive in residence at the University of Calgary. While in Calgary he also served on the board of directors of the Calgary Flames and received a Stanley Cup ring when they won the championship in 1989. Tittemore passed away in June of 1999 at the age of 77.(obit )http://lib-lespaul.library.mun.ca/cdm/compoundobject/collection/dailynews/id/34701/rec/3

 

Price (Newfoundland) Pulp and Paper

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L.D Wickwire

Lawrence David Wickwire b. 1907-d.2002 Vice President and General Manager 1965-1968. Born in Nova Scotia, Wickwire had a degree in electrical engineering from Dalhousie. After graduating Wickwire went to work with the Mersey Paper Company in Liverpool, N.S. Served in the RCAF during World War Two in England and in Europe, attained rank of Wing Commander. In 1942-3 he was officer in charge of the aircraft repair depot at Gander. After the war Wickwire returned to Bowater Mersey in Liverpool Nova Scotia as Chief Engineer. He joined Price Brothers in 1961 as Chief Engineer of the Paper Division. Was appointed General Manager at Grand Falls July 1965 and Vice President in September of the same year. http://lib-lespaul.library.mun.ca/cdm/compoundobject/collection/cns_tools/id/35879/rec/14

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T.M Hopkins,

Thomas Montgomery Hopkins, 1968-1970, Born in Bishop’s Falls in 1911. His father Alfred was a Carpenter with the AE Reed Company.  Hopkins Was a long time employee of the Company. At around the age of 14 Hopkins started working for the AE Reed Company (although at the time it was actually owned by the Harmsworths) at Bishop’s Falls. He left to further his education at Prince of Wales College in 1928. In 1931 he moved back to Bishop’s Falls and was employed by the AND Company as a clerk there. In 1935 he was transferred to Grand Falls as Woods Cost Accountant. In 1941 he rose to the position of Assistant to Secretary-Treasurer (Mr. John Goodyear). Ten years later he was appointed Assistant Controller and Acting Controller in 1953, this position was made permanent in 1956 and in 1959 he was made Treasurer of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. He Became General Manger in 1968. http://lib-lespaul.library.mun.ca/cdm/compoundobject/collection/cns_tools/id/35879/rec/14

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Donald Parker (Newfoundland Who’s Who 1974

Donald C. Parker b. Ottawa 1927. Mill Manager 1970-1974. Parker had a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto. Joined the Price Company in 1959 at Alma, Quebec.  He came to Grand Falls from Kenogami, Quebec in 1968. He was appointed Vice President of Price in 1971 and later became a director of the company. Following the acquisition of Price and the formation of Abitibi-Price, Parker moved to Toronto where he was Vice President of Lumber for Abitibi-Price and President of Abitibi-Price Lumber Limited. (Link)

M.T (Millard Thomas) Neill 1974-1978. Born London Ontario 1931-d. 2016 ((Obit). Neill Graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto in 1953. Like Parker, Neill came to Grand Falls from Kenogami in 1968.  According to my sources, Neill was moved to Grand Falls to oversea the modernization of the mill which included the elimination of the old log grinders and the sulfite mill. Prior to coming to Grand Falls, Neil had been instrumental in the development of chip refining for the Company.  It was during his tenure that the switch from rail to trucking took place and the Grand Falls Central Railway ceased operations. After leaving Grand Falls he was made Vice President of Research and Development with Abitibi Price.

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Donald D Munro, 1978-1983 More information would be appreciated.

John L Carson 1983-1990 Carson came from Abitibi-Price’s Pine Falls mill in Manitoba. I could find surprisingly little on him even though he seems to have had one of the longest tenures.

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John Carson, Mill Manager at Grand Falls in the 1980’s.

Robert Collez 1990-1993 Collez later became President of the Augusta Newsprint Company in Augusta, Georgia. The mill at Augusta was also owned by Abitibi-Price

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Bob Collez around the same time he left Grand Falls.
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Dave Kerr (GFW Advertiser)

David Kerr 1993-1998. Dave Kerr was with Abitibi-Price for a number of years. He began with the company in 1977 as a junior Project Engineer “Fresh out of school.” He was at Grand Falls before leaving to work with the Stephenville operation in the mid 1980’s. He was later transferred back to Grand Falls where he later became the mill manager (or in the cheesy 1990’s business-speak used by the company at the time “Co-leader”. After leaving Grand Falls in 1998 Kerr became manager of the mill at Kenora, Ontario. later Kerr managed other mills in the United States and spent a number of years working in the pulp and paper industry in Asia. On returning to Canada Kerr became the Vice President of Operations at Paper Excellence Canada Holdings Corp. While Kerr was manager at Grand Falls, Grand Falls and Stephenville were referred to by the parent company as the “International Business Unit” reflecting the fact that most of the paper produced there was destined for customers outside of North America.

 

Gordon Oldford 1998-2002. A Graduate of the University of New Brunswick Forestry Program, Oldford was Vice President of Newfoundland Operations and International Operations for Abitibi Consolidated.  While Kerr was manager  Oldford was manager of human resources. Oldford had been Chief Forester with Abitibi-Price at Grand Falls sometime in the 1980’s and had also worked in the Pulp and Paper Industry in Ontario and with the Ontario Government. Oldford was in charge of the operation while modernization of much of the power generating equipment at Grand Falls and Bishop’s Falls took place http://pubs.cif-ifc.org/doi/pdf/10.5558/tfc64446-5

Scott Chalker 2002-2008, A Newfoundlander who had graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Commerce.

Brad Pelley 2008-2009. Pelley was originally from Corner Brook and had been involved with the Abitibi organization since the 1980’s. An Engineer by training his name appeared on a number of Annual Reports for Abitibi as part of the “International Operations” Division. He also has an MBA.  Pelley was General Manager at Stephenville when that mill closed in 2005.  When he came to Grand Falls-Windsor from Mackenzie, B.C the rumors of closure abounded, he had just presided over the closure of operations there. On his appointment to the position at Grand Falls-Windsor he insisted he was not a hatchet man and was brought in to stop the plant from loosing money. Within a year the mill was closed. He was also Manager at the former Bowater-Mersey mill in Nova Scotia when it closed a few years later. Pelley is no longer with Resolute Forest Products and he is now Vice President of Operations and Engineering with a Nova Scotia company that markets seaweed. Pelley has the dubious distinction of being the last manager of the 100 year old mill, one that was once the largest in the world with timber limits so extensive, the founders figured could supply it in perpetuity.

T. Ross Moore once remarked that making paper in Newfoundland was a “grim and costly business.” Today there is barely one paper mill left in the Province.

Note: A Bruce Hanson was reported to have been mill manager sometime in the 1980’s, I could not find any record of this. If there are any errors or commissions please contact me.

Bryan Marsh

4 comments

  1. Hi Bryan: Thanks for that article. I am a volunteer with the GFW Heritage Society and I am typing Volume 1 of George Hick’s books spanning 50 years of the Mill/Town of Grand Falls from 1904 to 1954. At least I now know the correct spelling of the names when I am proofreading. Very interesting.

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      • Bruce Hanson was not a mill manager. He was assistant mill manager to Don Munro cira 1980-1982.
        I wonder how many of the former mill managers are still alive ? Fortunately for me, I’m still breathing and healthy at 63 and still in the business in Southeast Asia. Dave Kerr

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      • Thanks for the information! I believe Collez, you, Oldford, Chalker and Pelley are all still around. Not sure about Carson he looked older in the 80’s and its hard to track down information because his name was John Carson!

        Like

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