BRICKS OF A DIFFERENT KIND

Brickworks, the place of many memories for me over the past five years.

I was hired fresh out of university. I had a hunger for learning, for adventure and of course, for money. I needed to find a job that would provide me with all of those things to feel like I succeeded, that the past four years of university weren’t a waste.

When I walked into the office on 429 Elizabeth Street in Burlington, I was hit with a sudden warmth of the orange walls, friendly people and an interesting culture. I felt at home. I felt like I was going to be a part of something great, something life changing.

Now, five years later, I’m a full-fledged Brickworker. I have learned many interesting things about Brickworks; facts that even our longest standing clients would never know.

1) We used to be located at 42 Mary Street in Hamilton (Ok, a lot of people already know this).

2) The owner, John Pitts, has five (count that, five) children! He can, and has handled everything from tears to torture.

3) Brickworks wasn’t always “Brickworks”. First, we were Superior Engravers, Superior Graphic Communications, then Superior Interactive Communications.

4)  Before John Pitts gained ownership of Brickworks, Jim Pitts, John’s father, was the owner. Preceding Jim, Harold Pitts (John’s grandfather) started the business in 1921.

5) Harold Pitts and Jim Vansickle were graphic designers and left Commercial Graphics to start Superior Engravers.

6) To this day, Jim Pitts can recall helping war efforts by printing posters for the federal government.

7) In 1972, Superior Engravers made headlines for purchasing an advanced scanner – “First Hell Computerized Scanner Goes to Superior Engravers in Hamilton”, read the title of a large article in Print Action magazine in November 1972.

8) The Brickworks Christmas parties used to be held at the Hamilton Squash Club, now home office to the Hamilton Tiger Cats (well, maybe).

9) When a hockey puck broke John’s nose before a Brickworks Christmas party, he had to attend with a Band-Aid attached to the top of his nose. As a sign of sympathy (or sarcasm), the entire staff placed Band-Aids on their noses to show support.

10) After another legendary Superior Engravers golf tournament, a few members of the Superior family decided it was a good idea to crash the honeymoon of one of their brethren and his bride at the local Royal Connaught Hotel. Due to the persistence of these individuals, the married couple finally let them in the room to have a drink. Now that’s family!

While researching for this blog, I look back on our 75th anniversary material. I smile as I notice a quote from John: “Whatever tomorrow brings, you can rest assured that as we move closer to completing our first 100 years, Superior will continue to be at the forefront of change ever evolving to meet the needs of our clients”. On the brink of our 93rdanniversary, this statement has remained true.

These are only a fraction of the facts that I could possibly gather. If I could sit with Jim Pitts for an hour, I’m sure I could come up with 20 more. The point is, this business has come a long way and the reason it has is that we’re a family.  We care about the job we do, we care about the efforts that we put in, and we care about making a difference. After all, we’re Brickworkers.

Alicia Zabolotney

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