Michael Yarrell memorial trophy
Ricky Howes (l) and Desmond Su'a at Brebner Print

Brebner Print has awarded the Michael Yarrell Memorial Trophy to apprentice Desmond Su’a.

The award returns to the Napier-based print company after a seven-year break. Ricky Howes, general manager at Brebner Print, explains, “The Michael Yarrell Memorial Trophy was first awarded in 1989 to the top Brebner Print apprentice rewarding excellence in their training. In its heyday, as the company grew, it became a nationwide award. After seven years on the shelf with few apprentices to choose from. However, we now find ourselves in a growth phase which has allowed us to bring the trophy back into play.

The trophy honours Michael Yarrell, a 19-year-old apprentice printer at Brebner Print, who tragically died in a motorcycle crash in 1989.

Howes says, “It is a proud moment in our history to be able to bring the Michael Yarrell memorial trophy back. It is for apprenticeship excellence. Further, it reinforces our commitment, as part of the wider Blue Star Group, to fully support the apprenticeship programme within our industry.”

Strong work ethic

Desmond Su’a began at Brebner Print at the start of this year as a Digital/Design Apprentice. Howes says, “In the short time that Desmond has been with us, he has learned to operate the digital press, wide format printer, CTP platesetter and he is now knuckling down to specialise in graphic design and structural packaging.

“Desmond has a caring, considerate nature and a strong work ethic, he gets on well with the entire team and his personality aligns well with our core values.”

Like other print companies, Brebner Print has faced some stiff challenges over the past two years of Covid-19. He says. “The last couple of years has certainly been challenging on the staff and the business. Although we have said goodbye to some long serving staff over this time, it has given us the opportunity to employ new talent. As a result, with those fresh ideas and energy, the challenges that we have faced together over this time have galvanised us into a tighter and stronger team.

“With Christmas around the corner, we are certainly looking forward to recharging the batteries and spending some quality time with family and friends.”

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