In 2012 Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete Ltd (CRMC) celebrated its 50th anniversary but its foundations were laid as long ago as 1927. That was when a business dynasty, which has been perpetuated to the present day by the Grant family, had its beginnings in the form of a small carrying business operated by R.G. Grant.

As time went by Grant expanded his fleet from one small truck that had been converted from a cut-down Chevrolet car to four Bedford trucks, and worked around the clock from a depot on the East Belt of Rangiora. Soon Grant had embraced two other carrying businesses and increased his line-up of vehicles to nine.

Then followed amalgamation with three more carriers, encouraging Grant to form Transport North Canterbury in July 1939.

In the tight economic environment of World War II and the accompanying fuel and tyre shortages, other owner-drivers found security by joining the expanding company whose fleet had now swollen to 28 trucks and which now had depots from the Waimakariri River to the Kowai River.

Transport North Canterbury would become a significant employer with depots throughout North Canterbury and the West Coast, providing work for more than 250 people and being remembered favourably as an employer.

R.G. Grant’s three sons, Roy, Bob and Roly, and daughter Norma all worked within Transport North Canterbury.

In 1962 CRMC was formed, and in 1973, the privately owned company became a listed company under the name of Transport North Canterbury Holdings Ltd.

CRMC re-emerged when, after a successful takeover bid by Australian interests, the company’s name was changed to Transpac. However, it was agreed to release CRMC and its quarry sites from the takeover deal.

CRMC thus returned to private ownership in 1985, with Bob and Roly taking over CRMC along with quarry assets at North End Sand Supply. Reflecting the esteem in which it is held as an employer, CRMC is notable for the long service record for many of its staff.

The average years’ service of the six employees who retired from the company during the last five years was 39 years. Today, 18 per cent of employees have more than 20 years’ service with CRMC. Seven have been employed for more than 30 years and one for more than 40 years.

Those who have exceeded 40 years’ service with the company include the late Roly Grant, the late Bob Grant, Gary Terrell, Alan Amer, Peter Balkenende and Craig Lowe while Richard Bartlett, Tony Brown, Reg Edwards, Phil Hawkins and Rob Kimber are approaching that milestone.

The business, which now employs more than 130 staff, remains entirely locally owned by the estate of R L (Bob) Grant. The company gratefully acknowledges the support of its loyal and longserving customer base, some of whom have been doing business with CRMC for more than 50 years.

Taken from the April 2013 NZRMCA Newsletter

Images - Christchurch Ready Mix Concrete Ltd (CRMC)