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At the end of 2020 we celebrated Graham’s successes in the MOTAT team as he moved on to pastures anew.

Graham O’Keeffe joined the MOTAT team 14 years ago and in that time has reinvigorated the Print Shop. He brushed of the dust, cleaned out the rust, and got the machines humming again. Many of the machines were missing the parts and support hardware to get them up and running and Graham worked with the wider print community of Auckland and beyond to source what was needed. He turned the Print Shop into a hub of well-oiled and well-cared for machines, and top-quality print work.

During his time as the Print Shop team leader the team grew and we began printing a considerable volume of postcards, bookmarks, flags and posters related to MOTAT events and artefacts, all to a high quality and overseen by Graham’s discerning eye.

Graham worked for Heidelberg for most of his career, setting up machines in South Pacific nations and training staff in the running of their new machines. Graham has many anecdotes and stories of his time in the Pacific and the people he met. Most weeks someone has wandered into the print shop and reminisced about working with Graham in the printing trade before realising he was there in the print room to reminisce with in person.

During his time as the print team leader, Graham’s extraordinary skills and knowledge were recognised in a book titled “Guardians of Aotearoa: Protecting New Zealand’s Legacies.” A copy of the book was gifted to Graham by the senior management team and a copy is held by the Walsh Memorial Library.

Graham and his wife moved to Taranaki in December 2020, where he has moved on to a new print shop at The Stratford Pioneer Village. He will no doubt bring his extraordinary expertise and his warm encouragement to their printing team. While we are feeling bereft of his guidance, Graham put us in excellent stead and the Print Shop at MOTAT is still producing fantastic print works (lockdowns permitting). And luckily Graham will still be visiting us on the odd Live Day to check how we’re getting on.

-by Makyla Curtis Photos courtesy of MOTAT

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