By Kevin J. Sabo For the Advance
A Castor business which has operated since 1957 is seeing changes in 2020.
On Jan. 2nd, 2020, Dane Jackson of Castor’s Dark Knight Electric LTD took over operations of Castor Sheet Metal, a company started by Murray Fiss.
Murray started the company once he came back to the region after serving in the military as a pilot trainer.
When Murray first started the business, it occupied the old Castor Town office, which sat where the curling rink sits today.
“When we moved in, it smelled like horse manure,” laughed Brian Fiss, Murray’s son and until recently, owner and operator of Castor Sheet Metal.
Prior to the Town selling the property to Murray, the property was the Town office, jail, and housed stables. The old jail door can be seen at the Castor and District Museum.
Castor Sheet Metal moved to its current location at the corner of 49th Ave. and 50th St. sometime in the mid-1980s. The Town was looking for a site for a new curling rink, and they settled on the location of the old town hall.
The old Harris Motors building, which had been used by the Town for a time as a shop, was offered to Murray in a direct swap of property, the old Town office for the Harris Motors building.
“We spent two years in here renovating the building,” said Brian.
“The roof was leaking, and the insulation was pretty bad.”
Murray operated the business until he was 85 years old. Brian, who had worked outside of Canada for many years, came home in the late 2000s, and began helping Murray run the business, then fully taking over in 2011.
“Something told me to come home,” said Brian. “He [Murray] was glad to see me come back.”
Jackson began apprenticing with Brian during the middle of 2019, in preparation of the takeover, however Brian isn’t parting ways with the company his father built yet.
While Jackson works towards his plumbing and gas-fitting ticket, Brian will be around helping out.
“I’m going to stay on for a while anyways,” said Brian
“He’ll [Jackson] probably phase me out when he can. I’m 67, I don’t know where the time went.”
Brian is glad to see someone with plans to grow the business take over.
“Furnaces are getting harder to work on, with all their electrical parts. It’s brought new life to the business,” said Brian.
“It gives me a bit of peace of mind that someone will be here.”
Jackson agrees with Brian. “It’s beneficial for everyone. They [the electrical and the plumbing] kind of cross over to each other.”
Clients of Castor Sheet Metal won’t see an immediate change to the company.
The phone number for the business will remain the same, though services will be expanded, with Jackson merging his company, Dark Knight Electrical, into the business.
Down the road, Castor Sheet Metal will be rebranded under Dark Knight Electric LTD.
“We’ll have all the same services, and more,” said Jackson, who is currently part way through his first year of four-year plumbing and gas-fitting apprenticeships, though he is hoping to get it done in three.