Earlier this year, I was sat with Phil Creaney on the ACR Today stand at the ACR Show. As always, Phil was putting his creative mind to work and we were bouncing ideas off each other. After a few serious suggestions, Phil light-heartedly proposed that the ACR Industry should have a 'Personality of the Year' Award. "This industry is so full of characters, so we wouldn't be short of entries," he joked.
We mulled over a few names, and the list quickly grew as we tried to outdo each other with increasingly outrageous characters from the industry. Each name was met with a hearty laugh, and then "yes, but what about......?" The list grew as we mischievously exchanged names. All done good-naturedly and with genuine affection and admiration for the names we added.
After several minutes, Phil reflected "The only problem would be the judging; how could anyone pick a winner from such a diverse set of wonderful people? This industry is a rich tapestry of characters all of whom make it what it is. There would be too many winners!"
He was right. The acr industry has its fair share of characters and we are all the richer for it.
I won't go through the list, but I can say that one name that was on it was Joachim "Joe" Paul, a larger than life Professor of Refrigeration from Denmark who presented several times at IoR sessions. I saw him present a couple of times and each time it was an absorbing experience as Joe dominated the proceeding with his physical presence that demanded attention. I heard yesterday that Joe had died recently after a long illness. The industry will be all the more quieter place and will have lost another character as the wealth of knowledge that Joe had.
Sadly, I heard this, shortly after receiving some terrible news regarding Phil. It is not often that I am left stunned, but when I heard yesterday that Phil Creaney had passed away very suddenly at the weekend I was shocked. I didn't want to believe the news.
Phil was well known as editor of ACR Today
and Heat Pumps Today
. He was extremely active in the industry and came to love it. He served on the Institute of Refrigeration Executive Council, twice I believe, as well as the Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Institute. He really needs no introduction to most of us and many of you will have your own fond memories of Phil.
For me, Phil was one of two people that first encouraged me to write for a magazine. He was always positive and supportive. As I came to know him better, and as his understanding of the industry developed, I recognised someone that cared deeply about this industry and the people in it. He was passionate and loved to write and talk about it, and because he cared, he thought deeply about the issues faced by the acr industry today and wondered how to improve things. He was a talented writer and a creative thinker; a true gentleman who was well respected by all those that knew him.
As Phil himself said, this is a wonderful industry filled with amazing people doing amazing things.
Sadly, we now have two less.
My deepest sympathy to his family, friends and colleagues; my thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
Phil, you will be greatly missed.