Spotlight on Brian Pyke: The Rockin’ Machinist at Hercules MMS
Since 1975, Hercules MMS (formerly Fundy Grinding) has been providing customers with quality machining and millwright services. Over time, the company has grown exponentially from providing these services locally to working across Canada and around the globe.
In this series, we want to take some time to get to know the incredibly talented and devoted machinists that bring years of expertise to Hercules MMS. In today’s blog, let’s learn a bit about Brian Pyke!
How long have you been in the machining/millwright industry?
I graduated from Dartmouth High School in 1978 with a Grade 12 academic diploma. In 1979 I started studies at Dartmouth Regional Vocational School (now known as NSCC) successfully completing a 2-year Machine Shop program & graduated in 1981 with a Certificate of Apprenticeship. My apprenticeship studies took me into 1985 when I achieved my certification as a Journeyman Machinist. I also hold Alberta Inter-Provincial Red Seal Journeyman status. I have been in this industry from 1979 to present, 42 years!
Where are you originally from?
I was born and raised in Dartmouth, NS.
How did you get started in the industry or what made you decide to get into this industry?
I grew up in the machinist industry as my father was a tool and die machinist for the Department of National Defence in Dartmouth/Halifax and I followed in my father’s footsteps. I have always been very mechanically inclined and repaired my own vehicles at a young age with my father’s supervision.
Tell us about your educational background:
- Grade 12 Academic Diploma
- Dartmouth Regional Vocational School – 2 year Machine Shop program
- Certificate of Apprenticeship
- Certificate of Red Seal Journeyman Status
- Alberta Journeyman Red Seal Equivalency
- Grant MacEwan Community College – Effect Work Teams Certificate
- Certificate of Achievement in Hydraulics
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology:
- Certificate of Achievement – Becoming a Master Instructor
- Continuing Education – Millwright Reciprocating Compressor Maintenance
- Machine Shop , III
- Management Techniques
- Microsoft Word for Windows Introduction & Intermediate
- Computer Numerical Control CNC Level 2
Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education:
- Interpersonal Communications
- Introduction to Business Administration
- National Association of Home Builders:
- Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist
- Marketing & Communication Strategies for Aging & Accessibility
- Business Management for Building Professionals
- Design-Build Solutions for Aging & Accessibility
What’s your favourite part about working in this industry?
The opportunity to create quality workmanship & knowing that the customers are pleased and satisfied with the outcome of my work.
Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules?
I have vast experience and knowledge in industrial service & repairs along with manufacturing of production and high precision custom parts. I’ve had a progressive career in the following sectors: Fishing Industry, Forest Industry, Power Generating Stations, Municipal infrastructure, Gas Turbine Facilities, Oil & Gas Field related manufacturing, Water Treatment Facilities, Apprenticeship Instructor with Community Colleges both in Western Canada & in Nova Scotia & Plant Production Maintenance.
What made you decide to join Hercules?
Hercules is good company. Hercules is a good fit for me given my extensive machining and millwright background.
Do you have any advice for a young person wanting to get into the industry?
It’s important to have prior knowledge of the trade you want to go into before deciding to make any particular trade your career. Therefore, if you want to become a machinist educate yourself in what is necessary and expected from the companies to which you may apply.
Is there anything about you most people wouldn’t know? Or, what do you like to do when you aren’t working?
Back in the mid 70’s I had private guitar lessons for almost 7 years. During this time I played in a few top 40 rock bands. I love to rock! Other interests I have are, boat building, carpentry work, bass & fly fishing, canoeing, camping and outdoor activities.
One day my wife and I decided to start a homestead from scratch near Tatamagouche. We worked hard together to build, from the ground up, clearing forested land with our bare hands in preparation for our home. On weekends and vacations, we would go to our land during the warmer months and stay in a tent while we worked there. The locals coined us as “the tent people”! Our time has been consumed preparing vegetable garden beds, planting fruit trees, grapevines & raspberry canes. We also harvest our own firewood.
We graduated from the tent after I handcrafted the interior & exterior of a tiny house. This is where we would stay as we continued working on the project. From there, we built our home and numerous outbuildings. I enjoy homesteading growing vegetables, raising chickens and this year I will raise a pig. Being a hobby farmer is enjoyable for me.
Is there anything about your experience in the industry you’d like to share?
Some of the highlights during my career:
- Teaching at community colleges in Western Canada and in the Maritimes
- Working on the Tall Ships in the early 80’s when they first came to Halifax
- Working in high technology jobs in the oil fields manufacturing sector of Alberta and
- On-site machinist for Nova Scotia Power, New Brunswick Power and the
- One of the coolest things I have made are high precision down hole cameras for the oil
industry in Western Canada.
- One of the unique things I enjoyed over the years is having the experience of working
with people from all over the world.
Experience the Hercules difference with at Hercules MMS
From boring a small hole in a boom truck to complete maintenance shutdowns, we have the ability to bring our shop to yours. We can assist with all maintenance requirements. Our commitment to quality workmanship is supported by our ISO certification, ensuring we meet customer expectations every time, whether the job is completed in our machine shop or on-site.
Check out a complete list of Hercules MMS machine shop, on-site machining and millwright services by clicking here.