The year 1986 brought many things that shaped the world we know it today. Sad events like the Challenger disaster, the Chernobyl accident and a helicopter crash in the North Sea sat alongside major events like the appearance of Halley’s comet and the declaration by the United Nations of an International Year of Peace. At the same time, in a quiet, understated way, Tony Rowe was developing the processes and structure of JIG that set the DNA of the dynamic multi-member organisation that we see today.
Tony was the JIG Administrator in 1986 (which covered roles from Company Secretary and Company Accountant, to running the JIG Inspection Programme, playing a part in the development and publication of the JIG Standards, to sending the JIG bills out and any other tasks that came along). And, as Tony does not reveal much about those times (Official Secrets Act or just poor memory) we decide to recognise (at least) 30 years’ service to JIG when the JIG Council meeting coincided with the JIG Members Technical Forum recently.
An evening dinner at the King’s Head in Teddington with the attendance of the full JIG Council allowed the Council members to probe Tony’s memory about the changes in the industry, and Tony’s assertion that he has still got the original JIG Guidelines (Michel Campos has promised to donate his copy if the JIG museum ever takes off). Over the years, Tony has been involved with many Council members, Committee members and a number of JIG Council Chairmen (only men to date!) and so far, he has kept to his position that they were all a pleasure to work with!
When we asked around the JIG Community about any stories of Tony over the years, or anecdotes that they might want to share of early workshops and training we got two very clear positions; that Tony is very well liked and respected, and his unassuming and dignified demeanour left no traces of scandal or bad behaviour! We are certain of the first position!
It won’t surprise anyone to hear that Tony is a pleasure to work with as a member of the JIG team. He is knowledgeable, but shares that knowledge with anyone who asks, friendly but with a steely determination to ensure that things are done right and in line with the spirit and ethics of JIG. Tony delivers his commitments and gets out the Minutes of Council and Committee meetings so quickly that I’m never sure if he wrote them before the meeting and just guided the conversations! On a personal note, I know that I could not have made any impact on JIG, and for JIG to make such great changes over the last 4 years without Tony’s work, support and wise counsel from time to time (and he does all this while enjoying Christmas in Mexico, Springtime in Greece, weekends all over Europe and maintaining his own work on Inspections in Europe and Africa!).
As we have appointed Antonis Christodoulakis to the JIG Technical Manager position, some of the work that Tony has been doing will transition over 2017. As expected, Tony has been generous with his time to pass over some of his knowledge for Antonis to take forward. We hope that we can still engage Tony to support the Training, Workshop and Inspect to JIG Standard initiatives, that JIG will be working on over the next years.
To recognise Tony’s 30-year contribution, the JIG Council presented him with some J&B “JET” 12-year-old whisky and a globe decanter, and when John Buxton, JIG Chairman, made a presentation at the Member Technical Forum, Tony received the framed miniatures of the current JIG Standards and a JIG 30-year service award.
We look forward to continuing working with Tony and maybe even get him to move from MS Word to Excel in the next chapter of his JIG Story!