Benny & Grace
Benny’s first truck
Benny at the Royal Oak shop
Vanterm & Centerm Terminals container cranes
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.
In 2009 the Province of British Columbia started the process of land expropriation for a new major roadway along the railway track and Daly Road that eventually resulted in the loss of over 2 acres of industrial property.
In 2012 the north eastern yard was emptied and 2013 was spent starting the process of subdividing Benny & Grace’s property into Residential & Industrial parcels.
In 2014 160 feet of the north end of the old shop [where we sandblasted and primed our steelwork] was demolished and thus we added a temporary fabric shelter in our yard for our blasting & priming.
In 2017 the process of clearing the eastern property and preparing foundations for a new shop & office building began.
May 17, 2017 the Golden Ears Connector, linking Highway 17 (South Fraser Perimeter Road) directly to the Golden Ears Bridge in Langley officially opened.
In 2018 the painful process of expropriation was finalized.
Early March 2020 the Covid19 Pandemic hit us, impacting all our lives.
November 16, 2020 Solid Rock Steel officially moved into their new building @ 17850 Golden Ears Connector. The office department moved in first and the shop & field departments moved slowly & systematically shifted into the new shop by April 1, 2021.
The old Shop was completely demolished by the end of June 2021 and the temporary fabric shelter was dismantled in August 2021.
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.