It all started in the late 1970's, when Anthony Lealand and Steve Krenek were running large fireworks parties for friends a couple of times a year.
When Steve left for overseas Anthony continued and, to make it economic and less of an indulgence, set up Lucifer Fireworks & Searchlight Company. Now called Firework Professionals Ltd, the company occupies a warehouse in Christchurch and has a branch in Auckland.
With New Zealand being such a small market, Anthony found it was best to cover all aspects of pyrotechnics. Manufacturing indoor pyrotechnics and indoor shows, manufacturing and importing big fireworks for outdoor displays and running searchlights which were an exciting visual element for fireworks shows.
Early on, the Christchurch City Council engaged Anthony to fire the first 'Summertimes - Classical Sparks' concert. The 1996 concert had 130,000 people attending.
Sara Crane, who was working with Anthony at the time of the first Classical Sparks, helped develop a system for choreographing fireworks to music.
Further developments by Anthony have led to intricately detailed fireworks choreographed to complex music, using a computer for autocue. Saint Saens' symphony No 3 in C minor, for the opening of Wellington's Civic Square, was the debut of this system.
Firework Professionals Ltd has pioneered a number of 'firsts' which include:
- NZ's biggest show to date (the Twinings Iced Tea International Sky Show)
- firing pyro slung from a helicopter (we are still the only company to have done this).
Anthony travels to the International Pyrotechnics Society's Conferences held in the United States and around the world. In 1994, however, the conference came to Christchurch and was hosted by Firework Professionals Ltd.
In 2004 the company was invited to participate in the prestigious Brezac International Pyrotechnics competition held in Decazeville, France.
Then in 2006 the company was invited to participate in the Shanghai International Music Fireworks Festival.