ISO Club honours Founders

On 28th March 1969, the container ship “Encounter Bay” arrived in Fremantle followed soon after by “ACT 1”.

This effectively established an international container service between the UK and Australia and the start of the transition from conventional to containerised shipping with one container ship replacing approximately six conventional vessels.

The changeover from conventional shipping to containers took many people by surprise!

Many shipping company managers, and their staff had to alter their modus operandi, and some did not wish to accept the change.

In the early stages of containerisation it also became evident that people and organisations in the industry were not communicating face to face and were unable to see the urgency of decisions being made today and not being left until tomorrow – vital for this modern style of shipping.

It was through frustration with the creeping malaise that Douglas Bourne-Jones came up with the idea of the “ISO Club” a parody on the ISO container, to provide a venue as neutral ground where key players in this new industry could meet, discuss and receive assistance with their problems.

The Club commenced in late 1970 which is acknowledged as the formation year.

On 22nd September 1971, at The Prince of Wales hotel in St Kilda, Phil Kelly as acting chair, and fourteen other eminent Victorian shipping industry identities, attended a specially convened luncheon.

In Doug’s absence, they elected him President. Doug continued as President until 1975, when Charles Burne took over.

After prising the presidency free from Doug it became policy that a person can only serve a one year term and so the thirty-fourth incumbent Chris Ryan hosted the 2007 end of year luncheon where past executives are acknowledged and assemble to renew acquaintances.

It is traditional to acknowledge the past executives but tradition was enhanced when Founder and Life Member awards were presented to Douglas Vivian Bourne-Jones and Phillip Charles Kelly.

The framed plaque presented states: – “This is to recognise the contribution to the ISO Club that the person named has made since the formation of the Club in 1970 and the inaugural meeting on 22 September 1971 whereby he …….”

When advised of the award Phil Kelly responded thus: – “For once in my life, I am at a loss for words!”

“T’was without doubt totally unexpected and all the more an honour knowing that it has been made by colleagues in port-related industries,” he says.

“I am sure Doug and you are equally proud in the knowledge that we share this touching gesture with our late colleague Alan Ralph.”

Doug Bourne-Jones endorsed Phil’s remarks and on receiving his Life Member lapel pin commented that it was a great honour and, one which he would cherish.

During 2007 two past Presidents of the ISO Club died.

Herbert Downer [Bert] Chandler the President in 1976 passed in July in his 100th year.

A decision had been taken in August, to award a Life Membership to Alan Ralph who passed in September.

Alan Ralph was the Honorary Secretary-Treasurer in the middle eighties and President in 1990.

A select group of members are aware the ISO Club would have foundered due to some financial difficulties but was saved only through Alan’s hard work.

He remained a significant player even through continuing ill health over the last couple of years.

A posthumous Life Member plaque and lapel badge in the name of Alan William Ralph was on display at the meeting.

Another recipient of Life Member was Michael Barrie Halley the President in 1993 and the Secretary-Treasurer since 2004.

The ISO Club welcomes new members and can be contacted on the web site

Written by Michael B Halley Honorary Secretary-Treasurer

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