At the recent annual meeting in Hong Kong, John R Gorman stood down after one of the longest terms, six years, as president of ICHSLTA. He has been president of the Australian Hide Skin and Leather Exporters’ Association Ltd since 1996. Later the same day he was awarded one of two Frank Johnston Awards for services to the industry. Gorman has been in the leather industry all his working life, starting his own company Aries Victorian Sheepskins which he founded twenty years ago. Prior to that he worked for William Haughton and Co and Elders IXL. In his younger days, he represented Australia seven times in small bore rifle shooting events around the world and also competed in boxing championships during his school and national service days. The new president of the council is Pierre Bonefant of France who takes on a two-year term with the option of a further two years.

Another recipient of the Frank Johnston Award which is given to those who are considered to have made a significant contribution to the industry was Madam Zhang Shu Hua, incoming vice president of ICHSLTA and vice chairman of the China Leather Industry Association.

Madam Zhang trained as an engineer in the leather department of the Light Industry College and then worked for 14 years with the Shenyang Leather factory in Liaojing province. She joined the China Council of Light Industry, then known as the China National Light Industry Ministry, in 1978. She was promoted to the position of deputy chairman and secretary general of the China Leather Industry Association in 1992 and is currently chairman of the ICHSLTA Asia Committee. In all she has served the Chinese leather industry for 46 years.

Anthony D Cox announced his retirement as director-general at the annual meeting of ICHSLTA, effective at the end of September 2004. After 52 years in the international leather industry, Tony Cox has served the International Council of Hide Skin and Leather Traders’ Associations for 25 years, initially as treasurer, then as director.

Cox started out with the Association in 1980 as the UK delegate, becoming treasurer in 1983. He remained as treasurer until he became the director general in 1990.

During this time, he and his wife Carole also took on the administration of the UK association, SHALTA, and through his reorganisation of their finances and involvement in other matters such as arbitration and negotiations with EU veterinarians, he was awarded the MBE for services to the industry.

He was also a vocal and informed spokesman for the British industry during the BSE and foot and mouth epidemics and was one of a few knowledgeable people in the industry who stood up against the general ignorance of politicians and civil servants with regard to the hides and skins industry.