Les Brener tradition continues

Since the early 1980s a group of industry executives have met for occasional lunches in Sydney. In recent years it became known as the Les Brener lunch, in honour of its founder, former executive director of PMA Australia, Les Brener, who died earlier this year. The group met on November 22 for their end-of-year meeting.

(LtoR) Des Franklin, former GM of Hanimex Australia and UK, Peter Rose, former head of PMA Australia and long-time Kodak and Hanimex executive, as well as Merit Imports, John Koens co-founder and former MD of Kayell and a past president of PICA, John Bourne, former President of Vivitar USA and senior executive for Hanimex and Kayell, Peter Rattray, former GM of Kodak Professional and VP of Eastman Kodak, Rochester, Peter Terry, former MD of Polaroid Australia, John Swainston former MD at Maxwell Optical and Maxwell International and a past PICA (IDEA) President, John Paxton, MD of Paxtons Photo Video, Terry Rimmer, past head of PMA Australia and executive of George’s Cameras and HP Asia, and Stan Kassanis, MD of Standalone Design, a major supplier and supporter of creative content to the photo industry over three decades and still very active.

(LtoR) Des Franklin, former GM of Hanimex Australia and UK; Peter Rose, former head of PMA Australia and long-time Kodak and Hanimex executive, as well as Merit Imports; John Koens, co-founder and former MD of Kayell and a past president of PICA; John Bourne, former president of Vivitar USA and senior executive for Hanimex and Kayell; Peter Rattray, former GM of Kodak Professional and VP of Eastman Kodak, Rochester; Peter Terry, former MD of Polaroid Australia; John Swainston former MD at Maxwell Optical and Maxwell International and a past PICA (IDEA) President; John Paxton, MD of Paxtons Photo Video; Terry Rimmer, past head of PMA Australia and executive of George’s Cameras and HP Asia; and Stan Kassanis, MD of Standalone Design, a major supplier and supporter of creative content to the photo industry over three decades – and still very active. (Pic courtesy John Swainston)

The group continues to meet three times a year at the Peacock Gardens Restaurant on the North Shore of Sydney. The restaurant itself is celebrating 40 years this November.

Some traditions and friendships in the photo industry go back more than five decades. Long may it continue! And here’s cheers to the late Les Brener, who was the ‘glue’ for so many of these people’s friendships over many of their careers.

Happily I can report a chance meeting with Jessica Brener right after returning from the lunch, and was able to convey the good wishes of all those gathered. Jessica is staying active with adult children and many grandchildren to keep her busy and involved.
– John Swainston


2 thoughts on “Les Brener tradition continues

    • Agreed Les lead the industry through the good times, I’m disappointed that I can’t see bottles of Chardonnay on the table, we all knew for Les that lunch without a couple of bottles wasn’t a real lunch.

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