2009 Hall of Fame
Franz Peter Matusch
Copper Cliff Mechanical
Franz Peter Matusch was born in October 1945 in Olmütz Czecheslovakia—a war torn German enclave in the Sudetenland, a contested region bordering pre-World War Germany.
The early years of Peter’s life were difficult ones. His father was killed prior to his birth during the final days of the war. In early 1946, two-month-old Peter and his young mother were ejected from the Sudetenland along with approximately 500 000 other ethnic Germans and relocated to settlement camps and small towns across Germany. The family eventually settled in Oberstaufen, a small town in the foothills of the Alps in Southern Germany.
In his youth, Peter learned the value of hard work first-hand. Arriving in Germany with nothing, Peter had to earn his way. Even as a young child, he had to help provide his family with the necessities of life.
When he was 13, after his mother’s remarriage and the birth of a sister and two brothers, Peter emigrated to Kingston, Ontario, where his stepfather began work as a millwright.
Barely a teenager, Peter immediately entered the welding trade, working after school and on weekends with his stepfather. Leaving school at 16, he became full-time welder in the Kingston shipyards, and then spent his youth following work across Canada, from one project to the next.
After marrying in 1967, Peter and Renate Matusch moved to Sudbury, Ontario where Peter joined the Pipefitter’s union. They settled down to raise a family.
In 1978, Peter opened Copper Cliff Mechanical. It consisted of an old pickup truck and a small wooden storage shed that he rented along Fielding Road in Lively. The company started by providing basic plumbing and piping services to local industry—primarily INCO.
With hard work and a characteristically German attention to detail and quality, the business grew rapidly. By the early 1990s, the business had grown to 400 employees and 5 subsidiary businesses, providing a wide array of construction services to heavy industry throughout Northern Ontario and beyond.
Between 1991 and 1994, the economy in Northern Ontario collapsed. The CCM Group of Companies suffered as well. In 1994, with his business near to bankruptcy, Peter began to rebuild.
From 1995 through the early 2000s, the company re-emerged as a more diverse organization with a broader customer base. Showing the same resilience that Peter learned while struggling to build a life in post-war Germany, the CCM Group has re-emerged as a leader in the Northern Ontario construction industry.
Today, the CCM Group continues to grow and change. Peter is excited about the coming decade’s challenges and opportunities. While the CCM Group shops and offices on Fielding Road bear little resemblance to the rented shack he started with in 1978, Peter’s pride in his business is as great as they were over 30 years ago, when it all began.
Ron was born in Hanover Ontario in 1945.He attended what is now Mohawk College and earned his mechanical Engineering Technologist diploma in 1967.Immediately after school he began working for Timberjack Equipment in the special equipment division in Woodstock where he assisted in custom design work. In 198 Ron heard that Jarvis Clark in North Bay was looking for designer to further the configuration of the Minejack for mining applications and he again assisted in a number of major projects all stemming from the Minejack carrier Ron led the design team at Jarvis Clark for some ten years in a variety of engineering and plant functions as a designer chief engineer and product service manager.
During this time the plant went from a service station in Sudbury to a 400 employee manufacturing plat in North Bay. In this period of time some 1500 machines were manufactured in which Ron carried a major design responsibility. Jack Clark commented,” Ron’s unique ability is that he can translate a design specification into a practical machine. Very few designers have this talent.”
With the departure of Jack Clark from Jarvis Clark prior to 1979 and with the encouragement of Jack Clark, Ron started his own design Consulting Business “Miller technology” as a one man operation doing custom design work for mining companies and suppliers.
Ron took the initiative to expand his business and designed his “Three Wheel Minekart” and began travelling and selling this machine throughout Ontario and Quebec. His success was achieved when his wife Nancy the “accounting Manager” sold five units by phone to Bousquet mines in Quebec while Ron was moose hunting.
Today after 40 years in business the company employees 30 people in a tough recession while having a peak of 50 employees. And has operations in North Bay and a parts distribution facility in Sudbury
Ron often tells people “we move everything underground except rock”
Today the company sells Canada wide with international sales in the USA Chile, Africa and Russia. To further maintain company stability, a Division was established which supports the construction, forklift and utility markets throughout Northern Ontario In 2003 The Company was presented an award by the National research Council as one of Canada’s Innovation Leaders.
The company is now run by his two sons Chad and Kent while Ron enjoys various aircraft off water land and ice as well as hunting and fishing and Ron sits on the North Bay Airport Board of Directors