Bob Gardner, a co-founder of the long-running SOS Print + Media Group, has passed away in Perth after a long battle with cancer and has been remembered as an extraordinary person who was always ready to learn new things and explore technology.
The foundations of SOS Print + Media were formed in 1976 when Gardner and two of his then colleagues at Xerox, Michael Peel and Andy von Faber-Castell, decided to step away from their corporate jobs and start SOS Instant Print in Sydney’s CBD.
That business eventually evolved into a large scale printing house, SOS Print + Media, which came under the ownership of Pegasus Print and AAB Holdings in 2018 but still operates today as a stand alone operation at Alexandria.
Gardner, who was in his late 70s, passed away over the weekend in Perth where he and family now live.
He was born in Canada and moved to Australia in his teens with his ashes set to return to his homeland.
SOS Print + Media general manager Michael Schulz was employed by Gardner in 1992.
“Bob had a real enjoyment of life and he truly lived it,” Schulz told Sprinter.
“He helped create a fairly adventurous company. We were often the first with new technology and a lot of that was due to Bob.
“We had the first inkjet used in publishing. We had a Xeikon which not many people had, we had an early Docutech as we were always open to digital printing and this was probably because all the founders came from Xerox.
“There is a lot of innovation and that kind of spirit at the company still exists today and a lot of that was driven by Bob.”
Schulz said Gardner would arrive at work everyday at 6am and always made a point of saying hello to everyone on the factory floor, even when there was 120 people on the floor.
“His spirit is shining through I think,” Schulz said, especially in these hard COVID-19 times.
“At the moment we need to do whatever it takes. Some people are packing boxes and helping in the warehouse and nobody is throwing any attitude back saying that is not in my job description so I think that is great and we can be proud of it.
“That is definitely what Bob stood for.”
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