9th July 1937- first November 2009:
John Gibbon, well-known textile journalist, passed away suddenly on first November 2009, still working after 50 years in a long and distinguished career. For the past six years John had been Managing Editor of the online daily textile and clothing publications, Director-e and Fabricdirector-e.
In January 1967 John’s name first appeared in Knitting International as the features editor. Later, his ‘Impact’ and ‘News Digest’ columns would include the key issues of the day, repeatedly urging its readers to “upgrade designs or suffer”. He always emphasised the need to balance design talents with the professional skills of managing, manufacturing and marketing. Many readers did not heed these messages – to their cost.
For 40 years John Gibbon was the anchorman in the office. In his final article for Knitting International in August 1998, now as Managing Editor, he wrote of the increasing volume of cheap imports that were being produced by child labour from the third world. He never professed to be ‘technical’, but he was knowledgeable, kind and compassionate and caring towards those employed in the knitwear industry.
John Gibbon was a keen sportsman, involved in rugby and hockey; he had founded a local community magazine, enjoyed acting, putting on Gang Shows and was involved in the charity Relate.
Many, many glowing tributes to John have been made. John Gibbon’s long-time colleague, Ralph Innes, who still writes monthly articles for Knitting International on new patents in knitting technology, recalls that he first met John in 1957. He worked alongside him at Knitting International for 16 years and remembers him as an amiable colleague who worked very hard and conscientiously.
Yvette Ashby, founder of Director-e said, “We are all completely devastated and shocked – he’s never been ill in the 10 years I have known him. I will miss him so much. He was like a father to me.” She continued, “John was such a wonderful friend and colleague to everyone here. The company and industry will not be the same without him. He will be greatly missed.”
Barry Start, occasional contributor to our magazine and a trustee of Ruddington Framework Knitters’ Museum in Nottinghamshire, England, writes, “In October 2009 the Ruddington Framework Knitters’ Museum catalogue of Hosiery and Trade Journals – Knitting International was completed. Many of the 1,100 volumes are now in the collection, including all 482 volumes that were produced during John Gibbon’s time with the magazine. We will miss John, but here his work and his thoughts will live on, for his family, friends, colleagues, all who knew him professionally or personally and for future generations.”
Stitch & Print International would like to add its own condolences to John’s family and all who knew him.