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(May 3, 2001, Gazette)

Many changes in 36 years
The end of an era

Judy WarfordJudy Warford

By Maureen Riche

The printing industry sure has come a long way since the days of the old Gestetner duplicator. (If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the Gestetner as that messy blue-ink-and-stencil contraption the school secretary used to crank out blotchy exam papers.)

Judy Warford, newly retired manager of Memorial’s Printing Services, remembers the Gestetner well. She also remembers the Verifax. And the first computers introduced to Memorial. And the first Xerox machine in Newfoundland, a technology so uncharted at the time that it came with its own fire extinguisher.

Indeed, after 36 years and nine months with what is now known as Printing Services, Ms. Warford has seen a lot of changes in her field. To many, her retirement on April 26 marked the end of an era.

Ms. Warford came to Memorial in 1964 as a quiet teenager fresh out of district vocational school. She started out in the proverbial mailroom: typing, duplicating and sorting mail for Memorial’s Department of Administrative Services.

Over the years, thanks to a lucky mix of departmental shake-ups, professional development and sheer ambition, she climbed the ladder rung (duplicating operator I) by rung (clerk III) by rung (assistant supervisor). She was ultimately named manager of Printing Services in 1984.

At the time of her retirement, the shy girl from CBS with Grade 11 and a diploma in “commercial” was responsible for the operation of the largest digital printing operation in Eastern Canada.

Ms. Warford’s supervisor, comptroller Trudy Pound-Curtis, keeps a file several inches thick on her colleague. It bulges with glowing employee reviews, commendations from deans and directors, kudos from union leaders and university presidents, and praises from Ms. Pound-Curtis herself.

“To me, this is a true university success story,” she said. “Printing Services has an exceptional reputation for service and quality, and they have always kept up with new technology and really, it’s through Judy’s leadership that they’ve done that.

“I think we should celebrate her, and the fact that she came here so young and accomplished so much.”

Ms. Warford herself remains fairly blasé about her incredible 36 year run at Memorial. Not quite sure what all the fuss is about, she’s looking forward to the next phase of her life: renovating her house and cabin, working in the garden, painting and spending time with her family.

And as for the technological revolution that defined her many years with Printing Services, it’s no big deal. With Judy Warford, as her many clients will attest, it was always about service first, equipment second.

“That’s your motivation. That never changes along the way. Our standards got higher because our equipment was able to handle different variations of paper and typestyle to make it look nicer. But basically your motivation doesn’t change: to do the best you can with what you have.”

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