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In Memoriam: Don Lampard

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Don Lampard, Honorary Life Member of Appita and its Secretary/Treasurer for 15 years, died in Melbourne, Australia, on July 30, 2012. He was a member of Appita for 46 years.

Early in 1928, on the eve of the Great Depression, Don was born to struggling farmers who worked an unviable soldier settler block near Mildura. Family fortunes improved when they were allocated to a better property near Hopetoun followed by the purchase of the town's general store. This enabled Don to complete his secondary schooling as a boarder, first at Ballarat College and then Wesley. On completing secondary schooling he was appointed to a position as a lab assistant with ICI where he worked until 1959. During his early years with ICI he studied part-time and in 1951 obtained an Associate Diploma in Applied Chemistry from Melbourne Technical College, the forerunner of RMIT.

Following periods as development chemist and plant superintendent at South Austrailian Rubber Mills, and factory chemist and production manager at Laminex, Don's long love affair with paper industry standards commenced in 1966. He was appointed as the secretary of Austrailian Paper Manufacturers (APM) Testing Committee and of the Testing Committee of Appita. This love affair was to last almost 30 years. The role involved the maintenance of a well-established system of APM and Appita standards under the experienced eye of senior APM employee and Appita Testing Committee Chairman, Oetel Nadebaum.

From the outset Don sought to align Appita standards with the international ISO standards, or vice-versa. He promoted the acceptance of ISO paper sizes and sat on the Pulp, Paper, and Printing Sector Committee for the introduction of metric units in Australia. He was a strong representative for Australia and New Zealand on ISO/TC 6, internationally for his expertise. He chaired ISO/TC 6 Working Groups on test atmospheres, thickness testing, air performance, roughness, compression testing equipment, and edgewise compression strength and was a member of countless others. He attended 11 ISO meetings from his first in Philadelphia in 1970 to his final meeting in 1995.

Don relinquished his position with APM early in 1973 to become the secretary/treasurer (executive director) of Appita on the retirement of Frank Hunter, combining this with his Appita and ISO testing standards activities. Oetel Nadebaum retired later that year and George Redding, APM Quality Controller, took over as Appita Testing Committee chairman. When APM devolved control of operations to mills, George Redding left the industry and Don became the Chairman of Appita Testing Committee, a position he held until his retirement.

With his appointment as secretary/treasurer of Appita, Don faced the task of building a more professional operation and addressing the financial challenges faced by the organization. Appointing two full time staff and a part-time bookkeeper, and with the assistance of dedicated Appita members, the quality of the Appita Journal was improved, the revenue from advertising was increased and the Conference Exhibition became a key source of funds. Lorraine Geal played a significant part in Appita's commercial activities and her untimely death in 1975 was a setback for Appita and was keenly felt by Don.

Under Don's leadership, Appita's financial position had improved considerably by the end of the 1970s and new initiaves were taken: Appita local sections were strengthened. The first of the Jasper Mardon courses was held in 1979. The first annual Appita Visiing Speaker, Dr. Derek Page, toured in 1980. The first Oetel Nadebaum award was made in 1985. That year, Appita membership, which was just over 1,000 in 1973, had reached 1,275.

Don Lampard retired from the position of secretary/treasurer of Appita in 1985 and was replaced by Peter Brown. In recognition of his substantial contribution to Appita, Don was made the 17th Honorary Life Member. While Peter took over the position of Chairman of Appita Testing Committee, Don continued as its secretary and his expertise in test standards was not easily replaced. In this role, he continued to make a major contribution to local and ISO paper industry standards until his final retirement following the Beijing meeting of ISO/TC 6 in 1995.

Don was a quiet but firm achiever, with an eye for detail and ability to communicate with the newest Appita members, senior company management and visiting dignitaries. His achievements were not confined to the office, meeting room, and conference venue. He had a passion for golf which he played with some skill as demonstrated by such highlights as winning the pairs event with John Pierce at the 1987 Appita Melbourne Section golf day.


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