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The Man Behind the Mill: Barry Anthony

BOWATER MERSEY PAPER COMPANY LTD., IN LIVERPOOL, NSBowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd. was founded in 1929 on the estuary of the Mersey River near Liverpool, NS. The mill was built on Liverpool Bay to t...


September 1, 2003
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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BOWATER MERSEY PAPER COMPANY LTD., IN LIVERPOOL, NS

Bowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd. was founded in 1929 on the estuary of the Mersey River near Liverpool, NS. The mill was built on Liverpool Bay to take advantage of an ice-free, year-round port. The rich forest resources of western Nova Scotia, combined with the abundant power generated by damming the Mersey River, ensured a healthy start for the paper mill. Seventy-four years later, the mill still stands proudly with Brian Anthony as its operations manager. Barry has been involved in the pulp and paper industry for the past 35 years and says that he considers himself lucky to have “the best job and the best place to live.

“Combine a great location to make paper with a beautiful locale such as Liverpool,” he added, “and who could ask for more?”

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Bowater Mersey Paper Company Ltd, is part of Bowater Incorporated, headquartered in Greenville, SC. Bowater is a leading producer of both newsprint and coated groundwood papers. The company is also noted for making uncoated groundwood papers, bleached kraft and lumber products. It operates 12 pulp and paper mills world-wide, from Liverpool to Mokpo, South Korea. Thirteen North American sawmills also produce softwood lumber. The company’s network of operations is supported by approximately 1.4 million acres of timberlands owned or leased in North America and 32 million acres of timber cutting rights in Canada.

The Bowater’s Liverpool mill is home to the production of newsprint, made from 100% thermomechanical pulp (TMP).

Sir Eric Bowater said in 1959, “True conservation means wise usage and replacement of natural resources. Conservation is a cornerstone of the Bowater organization, which is pledged to uphold the principle.” Four decades later, with the corporate slogan “We live here too”, Bowater’s commitment to environmental issues remains solid.

Barry Anthony applauds this corporate leadership, as he told me about the large areas of virgin woodland that remain untouched and which remain fertile ground for research purposes. Equally noteworthy is that on May 22, 2003, the company announced its intent to also set aside 102 hectares of its land in northern Queens County to help protect Nova Scotia’s slowly growing population of endangered Blanding’s turtles. The move sparked provincial Natural Resources Minister Tim Olive to describe Bowater as a corporate leader when it comes to stewardship initiatives.

Barry Anthony has been operations manager at Liverpool for the past ten years. He has been involved in many facets of the operation, from the engineering aspects to wood processing. What brings the most satisfaction to Anthony at the end of the day is a paper machine that produces a high quality product with the greatest consistency possible.

Jon Porter, vice president of Woodlands Operations, NS, has known Anthony for 22 years and said of him, “He is always challenging us on the wood side to give the best fibre, so that he can make the best paper possible.”

Anthony equates the success of the operation to the workforce and the small-town loyalty that prevails in Liverpool. Especially during this period when cost reduction, limited capital expenditures and energy reduction are major considerations, the relationship with the employees is foremost in Anthony’s mind.

Anthony’s boss, Bruce Nunn, vice president and resident manager, added, “His ability to lead and motivate people is simply exceptional. He leads by example.”

Barry Anthony spent five years as a member of the newsprint committee of the CPPA (Canadian Pulp and Paper Association) during the years 1985-1990, a highlight in his career. The post afforded him the opportunity to visit pulp and paper operations in North America and Scandinavia, and what he learned during that period, he still speaks proudly of to this day. “The times were different then, with smaller companies and many independents dominating the industry, but I will never forget the generosity of the people.” Younger people and more seasoned seniors came together with one common goal, and that was to share information on how to improve the process of papermaking and manufacture better paper. Anthony recalled, “the learning and the contributions made by everybody, allows my co-workers and me to improve the operations in our mill.”

A quote from the Bowater newsprint team vision talks about “inspiring improvement in people, processes and product”. Barry Anthony has been doing exactly this since he first set foot in a paper mill.

THE BOWATER OPERATING DIVISIONS

Newsprint Coated and specialty papers Pulp Forest products Canadian forest products