It’s Time to Pass on the Torch…

I have a lot to thank Canada for.

Canada gave me a new life.

A future I couldn’t have imagined…

When I first arrived in Canada – from “Stalin Controlled” Hungary – 63 years ago (barely an adult), I had no idea I’d go on to build a business manufacturing “The Best, Toughest Floor Machines on the Market”.

To understand how Centaur Floor Machines came into existence, I’d like you to travel back in time with me…

During the Hungarian revolution in 1956, around 200,000 Hungarians ended up fleeing Hungary – escaping through “a tear” in the IRON CURTAIN – into neighbouring Austria.

I was one of those who fled Hungary.

It was the only way up and out!

In Austria, I (along with other Hungarians) went to the US Embassy to seek asylum.

But there was one problem.

A HUGE long line of people.

So, I did the next natural thing that came to mind…

I hopped on over to the Canadian Embassy where there was no line.

The clerk asked me “what do you want?

I replied “I wish to go to Canada

When?” He asked.

Tomorrow if it is not too late” I answered back.

A couple of days later I was on the ocean liner, The Empress of Britany, on my way to Halifax, Canada.

I arrived in Canada with no visa, no passport, no luggage – just a neatly folded $5 bill given to me by the Mayor of Halifax.  (The Canadian Government had paid for my travel ).

A few years later (in 1962), with a $600 bank loan, I rented a large unkempt rat-infested basement in Toronto for $20/month and began a machine repair shop…

Four years later (in the mid 1960s), I finished designing my first prototype floor cleaning machine and a couple of years after that, the first Centaur Model 15” Floor machine was on the “shop floor” ready for sale.

Fast forward 57 years, thanks to our customers and supportive dealers like you, Centaur is a recognized and trusted brand among professional cleaners with a reputation for reliability, durability and better engineering.

Now that I’m in my 80s, I’d like to take things a “little easy”.

It’s time to pass Centaur on to a new set of hands.

So, it’s with great pride that I introduce you to the two gentlemen who have taken over the reins… and will no doubt lead Centaur to even greater success:

Shamez Mohamed & Galib Rayani

shamez,galib,tony+caption

  • Shamez is the hands-on business management & operations guy.
    He’s super-smart and brings a wealth of experience in business operations and strategic planning to Centaur. As a management consultant he has worked with a wide range of businesses and industries to help them deliver greater value to their customers.

  • Galib is the strategic marketing guy.
    Galib has already been involved with Centaur for over 5 years as a marketing consultant and service provider. He brings creativity to Centaur, always finding new ways to help us reach our customers and to serve them well.

Combined, Galib and Shamez have the perfect blend of skills and customer-centric philosophy to take Centaur forward and serve you well.

They’re good guys.

They’ll treat you right, that I know.

And while Shamez and Galib are now running Centaur, I will continue to “be around” to teach them what I know, advising them when my help is needed.

So, the transition is going to be very seamless.

I also want to spend as much time as I can with my wonderful, supportive and loving wife, Judy who has stuck with me for 60+ years now. I hope you can understand that.

Well, let’s all raise a glass to the future of Centaur.

Ching-ching!

I am sure you’re only going to benefit from the transition.

Shamez and Galib will help you any way they can.

Feel free to reach out to them.

I’m sure they’d love to hear from you – if only to say, “hello and welcome”.

I know they are eager and looking forward to working with you to help you achieve greater results in your business.

And if you want to reach out to me – or have any questions – I hope you know you can always do that too! My phone number hasn’t changed ;-)

Thank you for your support and good will.

I wish you the best.

Tony Lelkes