Vale to three industry figures of print

Three industry identities within the industry – Stan Halkeas, Jack Benyon, and Barry Tombs – have recently passed on, leaving behind their legacies in print.

Stan Halkeas, the founder of Halkeas Printing, died two weeks ago, at the age of 91. Halkeas was a well-known industry figure who was the first to install CTP in Sydney, in 2000.

Halkeas founded the company 60 years ago in the Sydney suburb of Taylor Square before moving to Chippendale. At its height around 15 years ago, Halkeas Printing employed more than 50 staff.

The business was then sold to Artarmon-based commercial printer, Lindsay Yates Group, in 2010, which bought Halkeas’ debtors and took on certain key staff including Patricia Halkeas, daughter of Stan Halkeas.

Lindsay Yates Group was later purchased by Whirlwind in October 2017.

“Many people may not know that a few years ago, Stan kindly gave me a very large copper wall-plaque that adorned the ‘marble staircase’ in his Chippendale factory, for many years. Many suppliers would have admired the hand-beaten copper masterpiece which Stan commissioned some 20 years ago, and which depicted a typical day in the life of Gutenberg’s workshop,” Penrith Museum of Printing committee member James Cryer told Sprinter.

“As fate would have it, I was able to donate it to the Penrith Museum of Printing where it now hangs, in pride of place in the foyer, greeting visitors as they enter the museum. It is fitting that Stan will always be remembered by that large wall-plaque.”

Jack Benyon, former managing director of John Sands, has passed on after 35 years of dedication to the business.

He joined John Sands as a young apprentice in 1943, and retired as one of its most successful and widely admired CEOs in 1978. During that time, he led the company to become one of the biggest commercial printers in Australia by driving many innovations including engaging with staff and acquiring new technology.

He was also involved in numerous print associations and was instrumental in the founding of what is now the Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA).

Barry Tombs of former print engineering business, Enterprise Printing Machines, has passed on as well.

Tombs has been described as a print engineer extraordinaire who was widely loved and admired throughout the industry.

Tombs began his career at 15, as an apprentice with Dolphin & Hannan, and was there for a number of years before starting his own print engineering business, Enterprise Printing Machines, which he ran for about 30 years.

“Barry will be remembered for his gregarious outgoing nature and almost bottomless pit of anecdotes about our industry identities. At one stage, he amassed a huge collection of letterpress machines, which he faithfully restored and generously donated to various printing museums around the country. Barry will be sadly missed as he was one of those nice guys who did well,” Cryer said.

“We salute these three giants who all strode the print industry stage, each in their own unique ways. And that’s what makes us strong; there are many strands woven throughout the fabric of our industry.”


Photo caption: (L-R) James Cryer and the late Stan Halkeas before the Gutenberg copper wall-plaque, which Halkeas gave Cryer and now resides in the Penrith Museum of Printing


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