Printing Industries National President, Jim Atkinson, will be buried in Hobart on Thursday this week following his sudden death at the end of last week.
Mr Atkinson was flying to Bali on holiday with his wife, Anne, when he was taken ill. A doctor travelling on the same flight went to his aid, but Mr Atkinson died shortly afterwards.
Printing Industries CEO Philip Andersen said he was deeply shocked and saddened by the news.
“I have to say that this is heart wrenching news. Jim was a friend, colleague and a mentor and his passing is a terrible shock to me and to everyone who knew him,” he said.
“Having to inform his National Council colleagues, Tasmanian and Regional Councillors and our staff on Friday was personally very difficult and distressing.
“The industry has lost a passionate leader, great friend and a staunch advocate.”
Mr Andersen said he had spoken to Mr Atkinson’s wife, Anne, on a number of occasions since his passing to offer comfort and support.
“Jim will be buried at 2pm on Thursday at St Georges Church, Battery Point, Hobart,” he said.
“On behalf of Printing Industries, National and Regional Councillors, our staff and our members and the industry across Australia, I offer our heartfelt condolences to Anne, their daughter Carolyn and her husband Tom and granddaughter and to all the Atkinson family and friends.
“Jim was a big man in stature and a big man in heart. He will be greatly missed.”
Born in 1942 in Shrewsbury England, Jim Atkinson spent more than 40 years working in the printing industry.
He began his industry career as a management trainee with London based Thomas De La Rue & Co. Ltd, the largest commercial security printer in the world.
Mr Atkinson went on to work in a number of production and marketing positions including postings to Dublin, Eire and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In 1977, he emigrated to Australia with his Australian born wife and settled in Tasmania. As a Director of the largest printer in Tasmania, he was responsible for changing the focus of the company from being a general printer to a specialist and security printer exporting products to more than 30 countries in Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.
In 2006, Mr Atkinson formed his own consultancy business and in January 2008 was elected National President of the Printing Industries Association of Australia– a position he held until his untimely death. He was a Tasmanian Regional Councillor from 2005, Tasmanian President from 2006-2008 and Printing Industries National President from 2008 – 2010.
Mr Andersen said the biggest change in Printing Industries recent history, the creation of a new national management structure to replace the existing two tiered state and national structures, had been at the forefront of Mr Atkinson’s association focus.
“Jim strongly believed that good decision making must start from the top and from the time he became National President had worked to achieve this goal and to re-energise the association’s management and decision making process,” he said.
“He was successful in realising this and the new structure he presided over during its development for the past two years will come into effect from 1 January next year.”