Articles Of Interest

IRCO Medal
Each year at the International Rubber Conference (IRCO), the governing body awards the IRCO Medal for service to the International Rubber Industry and the Con- ference in general.This year it was presented to our own Anthony Hammond. Tony (or Big Tony), leading light of Wright Rubber and now Entegro, has been associated with IRCO via the Chairmanship of APRI, for many years.During the conference din­ ner Tony Hammond was pre­ sented with the IRCO Medal.
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

“Rubber Technologist”.

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”.

2012
MrA Hammond
Australia
2009
Professor T Nishi
Japan
2007
Professor Y Morozov
Russia
2006
ProfessorJ Noordermeer
Netherlands
2000
Dr M Gerspacher
USA
1998
Dr N Yamazaki
Japan
1997
Mr N Levin
Sweden
1996
MrDGorrnan
USA
1995
Professor J Donnet
France
1994
DrJBuist
UK

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.
 

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