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A smashing good time at the great ANZ IPEX Barbie

Thursday, 13 April 2006
By Print21
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Peter Crowder of AE Hudson entered into the spirit of the occasion when asked to knock off a few blocks by Kevin Burke, the Jester, during an uproarious gathering by over 200 Australian and New Zealanders at a 17th century inn in the wilds of Warwickshire, last Friday night. Earning his retainer the tough way, the jester stripped off, lay on a bed of nails and invited members of the gathering to walk all over him.

Not content with this he then invited Peter to smash three stone slabs with a sledgehammer across this stomach. Matching the invitation with the deed and to the enthusiastic urging of the crowd, Peter raised the hammer and brought it crashing down with great success. Flying pieces of masonry were everywhere. Wild applause as the jest struggled back to his feet and cautioned everyone that this is the way you make a living when you don’t finish school.

The jester bashing was just one part of a grand night’s entertainment when the visitors took time away from the show to catch up with colleagues, network with associates and cordially respond to competitors.

Party goers came from all over, apart from Australia and New Zealand. Mark Wilton and Nick Benkovitch from Kodak in Vancouver made the most of the ocasion to renew old accquaintences. Colin Benson of GSB now stationed in Singapore came with his boss Tennyson Byrnes. Print 21 editor, Andy McCourt was the organising genius behind the event, which was widley accalimed as the social event of IPEX 2006. Even Trevor Crawford, the exhibition director came along with his team to make the antipodean visitors feel at home.

There was an Irish band, a Canon camera raffle, a very smoky barbeque, freezing cold (thanks to Océ for sponsoring the marquee without which it would have been seriously cold) and a huddle in the pub that saw the Blue Boar’s previous record for the consumption of beer totally wiped.

“We had cars from here to the village on New Year’s Day, but we’ve never seen anything like this,” said Sean Brew, the very satisfied publican. Good natured banter over the virtues of warm English ale as opposed to cold beer had locals and visitors competing to prove their point.

Coaches, sponsored by HP Indigo, carried the partygoers from the exhibition and later safely deposited them back at hotels from Coventry to Birmingham. Sonya Newell from Eastern Suburbs Travel won the door prize; Martin Cornish from Jet Technologies switched to Moet, the people from DES and Cyrachrome shared some convivialities, and the team from Heidelberg rescued the blow-up crocodile. The New Zealand flags were carried off triumphantly by expatriates living in London.

As the night closed over the last departing revellers, locals were left astounded at their stamina and good humour. “Yous can come agin,” said one.

And we very well may.

On behalf of the merry throng we express our thanks to the generous industry sponsors who made the Great ANZ IPEX 2006 Barbie possible:

  • Agfa Australia
  • Canon
  • CPI
  • Currie Group
  • EFI Australia
  • Fuji GSA
  • Heidelberg ANZ
  • HP Indigo
  • Kodak
  • Océ Australia
  • Fuji Xerox
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