As a youngster growing up in Holland, Berend (Benny) Steunenberg learned the metal fabricating trade. He immigrated to Vancouver, B.C. in 1956, and began his first job in the steel industry as a fabricator with Western Bridge (Canron). After a few years, he transitioned to AIM Steel, and then to Columbia Steel in 1963.
With encouragement from a friend, Benny decided to start his own business. Choosing not to name the business after himself but wanting to build on the ‘Solid Rock’ Jesus Christ (whom Benny wholly trusted to take care of him, his family and the business), Solid Rock Steel Fabricating was established.
Benny left Columbia Steel in the spring of 1965. He worked two jobs (day & night shifts) for the next three months, saving enough money to buy an old flat deck truck, a second hand welding machine and a torch set-up. This equipment enabled Benny to fabricate a variety of small jobs in the basement of his home on East 46th Avenue, Vancouver.
In Fall 1965, unable to get a permit for a shop in Richmond, Benny set up his first shop in the 1100 block of Union Street, Vancouver. 1969 was a busy year, what with relocating to West Kent Avenue and formally incorporating Solid Rock Steel Fabricating Co. Ltd. on November 24, 1969.
By June 1971, Benny would be on the move again—this time, purchasing Byrne Steel Fabrication Ltd. in order to take over their existing lease/rent agreement. He spent the next six years working out of a former peat factory at 9051 Royal Oak Ave., in Burnaby.
In 1972, fulfilling his dream of living close to work and spending more time with his wife Grace and their nine sons, Benny purchased a dually zoned industrial and residential parcel of land in North Surrey, B.C. The Steunenberg residence was completed in the summer of 1974, and in November 1977, Solid Rock Steel moved to its current location at 17780 Daly Road.
Solid Rock Steel continued to grow. In 1988, looking to increase his shop and yard capacity, Benny acquired an adjacent eastern parcel of land. With this acquisition, business continued to expand and grow.
Benny & Grace Steunenberg maintained ownership of Solid Rock Steel for 43 years. In 2008, they transferred company ownership to Peter, their oldest of nine sons, and his wife, Pamela.
Today, the shop floor space has grown to approximately 34,000 square feet, the outdoor yard capacity increased to three acres and the shop, field and office consist of more than 40 dedicated, full-time employees.
We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the following people who were instrumental in the early development of Solid Rock Steel: John Hulstein (Accountant), Leo Dykhuizen (Ironworker), Joquim Kaulig (Fabricator), Peter Van Roon (Office Manager), Cor Groeneveld (Fabricator), and Henny Mooy (P. Eng.). Their guidance and expertise was invaluable.