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GRAHAM O’KEEFFE: REFLECTIONS OF A RETIRED MOTAT PRINT SHOP MANAGER


Retirement is . . .
. . . Something to do.


It was 2006 and I was considering setting up a print shop in the garage at home when Graham Judd suggested coming into MOTAT, now that's a good idea and the car can still use the garage.

The situation in the MOTAT print shop needed a little bit of TLC so with a bit of rearranging we could get some sort of system going. Hand setting of type in the centre, hand-fed machines to the left and automatic machines to the right with the replica 1450 year wooden press, (as used by Johannes Gutenberg) which happened to be built in the MOTAT railway workshop by the late Mr. Frank Brough, in the centre of the room.


The Print Shop became a working shop proficient enough

to sell articles through the shop, the note pads, post cards, Christmas cards plus articles for other sections of MOTAT. The biggest achievement for the team was the series of "The Seven Booklets", each based on a month's activity for each section of MOTAT in 2012. It was also very pleasing to see people buying our stuff.


The Print Shop was also able to produce something over 9,000 paper flags through eight years. This came about when a printer had cut some paper incorrectly and asked me if we could make use of it, as it was a coated stock it could not be used for note pads so the flags it was! Well if they could only see the faces of the kids receiving them!


It gave me great pleasure when Willi Coenrardi gained two gold medals in the New Zealand Pride and Print awards in the Letterpress section, with a book of sketches printed on 1974 KSD Heidelberg cylinder press and bound commercially. This is when all the New Zealand printers are invited to supply printed material to be judged.


It has been great satisfaction to have had The Print Shop open throughout the years on Sundays, and when the public and printers from New Zealand and other countries take time out to visit it seems to make it all worthwhile. For this I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team for all of our achievements and working alongside other volunteers. It has been a wonderful experience and a period I shall remember. Also to MOTAT management for their assistance in getting The Print Shop set up to be a working shop, especially during the periods of the floods.

... Graham


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