1. The Early Years in ballad stanzas

    By Orren Tench, August 2015
    Anniversary Party

    1968 Anniversary Party

    In nineteen sixty-five
    Emery took a little ride
    Up the Merritt Parkway
    Chuck Greer by his side

    An ad in the Journal
    A company for sale
    Sturrup was the name of it
    They had to hear the tale

    An old mill in Middletown
    Is where they found the shop
    Sturrup, Larrabee, and Warmers
    A showplace it was not

    The business it was foundering
    The owners ready to bail
    They both got drunk at lunchtime
    The price was cheap as hell

    For thirty-seven thousand
    Which emptied their purse
    They bought the entire company
    For better or for worse

    A new name was forthcoming
    Place names were in play
    Pretoria and Canberra made the list
    Canberra made the day

    Sturrup was a job shop
    They made instruments for Yale
    The designs were from an engineer
    By the name of Charlie Gingell

    They had the right to sell them
    Under the Sturrup brand
    But the NIM Standard was coming
    The end was near at hand

    Anniversary Party Later On

    Later that day

    They offered Charlie quite a deal
    To work with them as well
    But a bee was in his bonnet
    He told them “Go to hell”

    There was a clever guy on board
    Henry Webb was his name
    Not known an a designer
    But was he ever game

    An Englishman by birth
    He filled a big huge gap
    Prolific was the word for him
    He put us on the map

    ORTEC was our target
    They had a big head start
    What they didn’t know of course
    We had a bigger heart

    They scoffed at us from on high
    We didn’t take the bait
    They pretended to ignore us
    Until it was too late

    Our strategy was quite simple
    We’d match their every NIM
    And price them just a little less
    The differences were slim

    Soon bigger things were afoot
    The Division Plan you see
    New businesses sprouted up
    As quickly as could be

    Growing it horizontally
    A partnership master plan
    Technical guys from industry
    And MBAs , man-for-man

    Detectors was the first one
    When Fiedler claimed a spot
    Orren became the GM
    An insider, given a shot

    Medical Instruments came next
    Les Hammer the technical force
    Sam Knoll was the business man
    He had an MBA of course


    Early 1966 Ad in Nucleonics

    Then DataNIM came along
    Rick Pedersen was not alone
    Gerry Matthews was the idea man
    He had kissed the Blarney Stone

    The Canberra Clinical Lab
    Became a great success
    Hervey Weitzman was the doc
    Dave Smith claimed the rest

    A software group joined in
    With three guys on board
    They had worked for a company
    That was called Agrippa Ord

    Sengstock, Piner, and Francis
    Francis soon hit the road
    Sengstock moved to Marketing
    Piner kept writing code

    Computer Peripherals were added
    A Cassette Deck their first pick
    Steve Johnson led the charge
    Les Daniels designed it quick

    The MCA line we bought
    From Geoscience Nuclear
    Harvey Roberts was the key
    That much is very clear

    An embryonic conglomerate
    We had by ‘seventy-one
    Although we had no cash left
    It had been lots of fun

    The bank pulled in the credit line
    The Board forced out Chuck Greer
    They gave Emery a new contract
    For six months to a year

    Emery did what had to be done
    The prospects were quite grim
    Three product lines survived
    MCAs, Detectors, and NIM

    Rising from the ashes
    Like the Phoenix of old
    Canberra has lived for 50 years
    So this story can be told