We have today heard the sad news that Eddie Gittoes, managing director of Arctic Circle has died after his long battle with illness. He leaves a legacy to the industry in terms of both technology and the people he influenced
It is alwasy difficult for a reporter to do justice to a person’s life within the limits of a news report. So I am using my blog to pay tribute to Eddie, so that I can not only mark some of his many achievements, but also to talk about the impact he had on people too.
Eddie Gittoes had innovation flowing through his veins. There can’t be many technologies that the rac industry uses today that Arctic Circle hasn’t developed something for. A look back over the Cooling Awards shows that the company were in the forefront of hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide, secondary refrigeration and heat recovery, to name but four.
Eddie was a passionate supporter of the Awards, and not just because he knew that his company always had something new to enter. He was a judge from the start, a passionate advocate of those who pushed the boundaries - sometimes patiently having to speak up for a candidate that had been overlooked and sometimes having to face down a majority of nay-sayers. He was also always keen on continuous improvement and would often send me notes after a judging round with suggestions for next year.
So it was not a surprise when the industry put Eddie forward to receive the Gold Award in 2010 for his contribution not just to technology but to the next generation of engineers in the industry. Many paid testament to the fact that he had turned Hereford into an academy of emerging engineering talent. In fact it soon became clear that the biggest problem, along with keeping the nomination a secret, was condensing all the glowing testimonials for Eddie from customers, colleagues and rivals, into one five minute speech.
I hope that others of you will want to add your recollections in the comment box below, for I could go on to list the achievements Eddie had with the BRA, with the IOR, or with many industry developments. But you folk could do that far better than I can, because one thing is certain, he influenced a lot of people in the industry.
So I just wanted to end by saying Eddie was one of the first people I met in this industry, and from day one he was always keen to encourage, sometimes to cajole, but always to be constructive - a rare enough gift, I am sure you will agree. His legacy will live on, in the company, in the work he has done, and in the people he has worked with.
Our thoughts go out to Debbie and the family, to his colleagues in the company, and to the many friends he had in this industry.