Furthermore, at the IRCO meeting Tony was voted in as the new Executive Chairman to replace John Long who has served in the position for 7 years. It is a 3 year term. Congratulations again Tony.
Tony is presented with the 1RCO Medal by Executive chairman John Long
This is Tony’s slant on the life of a 1RCO Medallist
That’s a conversation stopper! I’m sure others of us have had that blank silence and then the usual retort; “do you make condoms or tyres?” After more than 40 years of filling in this occupation on airport departure forms I will have to find a new title like “Retired” (only partly). Well, before I fully retire I have one more role to fulfil. As the newly elected “Executive Chairman” of the Interna tional Rubber Conference Organisation (IRCO) I shall be chairing the next 3 annual meetings; China, Germany and Japan. Iwas most honoured to have been nominated and subsequently elected to this prestigious position. As if that wasn’t enough, I had the pleasure of being presented with the IRCO Medal. This Medal is awarded in accordance with the following guidelines:
“The IRCO Medal is awarded for outstanding services to the cause of International Rubber Conferences world
wide. The recipient should be a personality of exceptional merit in the rubber community and with a recognised record in one or more fields of activity related to the rub ber industry, research or education. He/she should have made distinguished contributions to IRCO conferences as an organiser, as chairman of conferences or symposia or as a presenter”. Out of a perverse interest I looked up past recipients and there was my name listed with “Professors” and “Doctors”.
I had no idea as a 19 year old, having recently arrived in the UK and looking for a job, any job, taking a position as a Laboratory Assistant in a rubber factory would lead to a 40 year stimulating career. After 3 months of punching out little pieces of rubber, wrapping them in cigarette paper and putting the sample in a machine called a Wallace Plastimer (I read the name plate a thousand times while waiting the designated time delay before taking the reading). I was about to “spit the dummy” when I was offered the opportunity to study rubber technology at the National College of Rubber Technology in Holloway, North London. I learnt how to make “prophylactics”, tyres, foamed rubber toys and how you can put Captax into roll- your-own cigarettes to get some strange effect (I promise I never inhaledl) Three years of travelling to London, one day a week, has paid off handsomely. Rubber technology has been my ticket to the world. Before I accepted a job offer in New Zealand I was considering a position in Mon tevideo, Uruguay. Who knows how different the outcome could have been?
So, after 5 years in the UK rubber industry and 5 more years in Auckland at Reidrubber, in 1982 I accepted a position in Melbourne at Repco. Twelve years on and an offer from a rubber recycling business (Cryogenic Rubber in Dandenong) before “the offer too good to ignore” from the owner of Bert Wright’s old business came my way. One month into this job I was convinced I had made the biggest mistake of my working life. When I told the busi ness owner what I thought of the company’s dire situa tion, he took external advice and concluded it was time to “pull the pin”, unless I wanted to buy the business. To cut a long story short, 17 years on I had a profitable, saleable operation and a willing buyer. So now it’s time to withdraw from the frontline and enjoy the fruits of success.