Tribute to departing RSC Staff

Publication date
Sunday, 25 Oct 2020
RSC front.jpg

During these unfortunate times the Research School of Chemistry is sad to be losing or have lost such amazing members. As we cannot host farewell events due to the ongoing pandemic we would like to pay tribute to the wonderful members we are losing or have lost. We understand it’s not the same as the farewell party’s RSC have held in the past, however we would still like to acknowledge the wonderful contribution that these members have made to the RSC.

In light of this we have gathered statements from the Staff members themself, and their Supervisor or close colleague to pay homage to their time here at the RSC. 

CHRIS BLAKE - Departed 30/10/2020

Chris Blake - " My first day of work at the RSC was Monday December 1st 1975. All the RSC instruments used electromagnets with field strengths in which protons resonated at either 60 Mhz or 100 MHz. My first lesson in operating a spectrometer consisted of sitting at the console of a JEOL C60HL and being told to fiddle with all the knobs to see what they did. We had two pulsed instruments, the rest were continuous wave (CW). There were no computers involved with the CW instruments. The recorder arm moved slowly across the chart, taking about 3 minutes, drawing the spectrum as it went. The only storage of the result was the chart paper the spectrum was drawn on.


The way the NMR service operated was quite different in those days. Students would fill out an A4 paper form and submit it with their sample which was usually a powder. These would be placed in a pidgeon hole, and when the sample's turn came, the technician would add the deuterated solvent, make up the sample in an NMR tube, and run the spectrum. It was not until the creation of the "University NMR Centre" in 1984 that students were expected to operate the spectrometers themselves, however they were only allowed to "fly solo" after passing a practical test. The ANU had no financial problems in those days, so the staffing levels were relatively high. We had a tea lady, and the tea room was full to overflowing with staff and students twice a day."


KURT RUSSELL - Departed 15/10/2020

Kurt Russell - "I started at the RSC Store as the Store Courier at the beginning of October 1988. During those times everything had to be done manually, there was no Internet or email system set up, no credit cards or mobile phones.  Everything I was required to buy was with cash. Monday to Friday 4 times a day I had to go to the Chancellery building to drop off and collect financial paperwork. Each day I also collected all international parcels from the Fyshwick Customs office, and the Airport.


In 1991 when the Senior Storeman left, I took over his position and continued with the store courier position. In 1995 I was promoted to upstairs and had the job as the School Requisition Officer, where staff and students would come to me for their requests.  I would create requisitions and send them to the Purchasing officer for him to create the purchase orders for me. In 2010 I became the Purchasing officer, absorbing the Requisition job into my position. In 2015, the RSC Chief Storeman retired leaving me on my own to run the whole of RSC store.  I absorbed his duties into the many other duties as well as my own duties.  I have enjoyed each position at RSC though I missed my job as the store courier for many years.  Everything seemed so much simpler then and I believed then that I had the best job in the world.


I never ever thought that one day I would become the RSC Purchasing officer.  I’m glad I did get the Purchasing position as the challenges have been great for me.


ZAK LAZAROV - Departed 24/09/2020

Zak Lazarov - "It’s been a pleasure working here for 16 years, servicing the Academics, Students and Staff. I have been privileged to meet some fascinating people, who are so smart and ambitious, who I will never forget. ANU has given me such a journey. I wish everybody the best in what life has to offer, may our paths cross every now and then."


Trent Hubber (Zak's Supervisor) - " Zak has been such an integral part of the RSC family in his roles and assistance over the 16 years with us.  Starting from cleaning and security to becoming our friendly always helpful facilities face. We can all say it's been an honour to work with him and his always helpful nature and friendly demeanour will be missed in all aspects of the RSC.  Here's hoping restrictions open up for a possible end of year celebration and a guest appearance to fully celebrate his hard work over his time with us."