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Old Friends meet for end-of-year celebration

Friday, 24 November 2017
By James Cryer

James Cryer takes us into the inner sanctum of a clandestine group of shadowy figures, and shines a light on one of our industry’s best-kept secrets, revealing for the first time some of their strange rituals and beliefs.

Originally formed in England over 100 years ago, the Society was established with the noble purpose of providing a mechanism or means of tradespeople – of various professions – keeping in touch, after they had retired.

Reminding us that we are tribal or herd-creatures at heart, we all crave the need for company and social interaction, between people of similar backgrounds or viewpoints.

And so the Australian branch (or ”daughter organisation”), which began many years ago, derived its membership mainly from the commercial offset sector, which of course, was the mainstay of our industry for many years.

Many notables – proprietors, managing directors, tradespeople, lecturers from the Sydney School of Printing – people from many and varied quarters – have all enjoyed the cameraderie, four or five times a year, which such an association brings. 

In fact, 100 years later, it still fulfills a unique need, which is to provide a means by which people who share a passion for print – and who may have spent a lifetime in it (or it just seems that way) – can keep in touch.

And so it was that about forty souls met on the balcony of the RSYS overlooking Sydney’s beautiful harbour to reminisce about the past and to toast the future… of print.

To help celebrate the occasion, in what is now an ”instant tradition”, Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the PIAA (and his better-half, Bud) was invited to say a few words about some of the exciting new initiatives and programs the association is undertaking. We were intrigued to hear that, earlier that day, he had even chewed the ear of the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull over lunch in Canberra.  And just to even-up the score, he had met with the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, the week before.

This is all part of a long-term strategy to place the printing industry closer to the levers of power in Canberra. He mentioned that the two top priorities for our industry, which the association is addressing, are energy pricing and training. He also made the point that, with the demise of the automotive industry, the printing industry is now the largest employer in the manufacturing sector.

All in all, the talk was extremely well received and help cast a light on some of the important, behind the scenes work your association is engaging in.

President Scott Telfer thanked Andrew and confirmed what a great honour it was to have the CEO here, and to have him speak so candidly and passionately on matters which affect our industry.

If anyone would like to join the Society, you are most welcome to contact either myself, or Scott Telfer, see contact details, below.

Anyone is welcome to join! Sorry, there is one condition, which I forgot to mention: you must be under ninety!

If you are interested in joining the Australian Society of Old Friends, please contact either – 

Scott Telfer – – – – 0413 382 528 or

James Cryer – – – 0408 291 508

One Response to “Old Friends meet for end-of-year celebration”

  1. November 25, 2017 at 11:00 am,

    christopher day

    Hello Scott & James

    We have a small group in Melbourne who meet every couple on months but don’t have such a grand name, but there again Sydney has always been the show town!!
    Actually we have a few members who worked originally in Sydney as part of their print life , and a few of us who spent a large part of our lives flying back and forward. I hate to think how much of my life i spent on a plane or sitting in Melb or Sydney airport (or circling Sydney waiting to land!! Saw more of Canberra from the air than on the ground, pilots favoured area to circle waiting for permission to land Sydney).
    We have also had few interstate visitors for our Melb get togethers, so maybe time to expand to National group, or is that too much part of our past?
    We haven’t got any 90 year olds yet but Kevin Rann (ex Multiform,CRC, JJ Millers etc) is heading that way, and Allan Jones (EX CRC GM Syd, 3M etc) hit big 80 last week, so his birthday get together/ Xmas get together is on this coming Friday.
    The rest of us are far too young to worry about our age at this time.
    Happy New Year to our Sydney friends, and have a great christmas.
    Chris Day still original work mobile phone number 0418 315902 (somehow Telstra haven’t forced me to change!!)

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