ICUMSA News n°57 - May 2006


Message from the President

The meeting of the 25th Session of our Commission is approaching and the organisational machine is running thanks to the tireless activity of SPRI’s staff. All ICUMSA Members have received a letter from our Secretary containing the details concerning the organization of the meeting, the Presidential election, the new logotype and the new ICUMSA website.
In particular the Secretary has reminded ALL Referees to send me their Reports before the deadline of the end of April so that we can post them to the website in sufficient time to allow National Committee to study them. This will allow a fruitful discussion for the meeting.

Referee News

As announced in the last ICUMSA News, Mrs. Veronique Sens is no longer Referee for General Subject GS5 – Cane. Following the suggestion of “The Sugar Technologists Association of India”, the new Referee for this subject is Dr. Y.S. Nerkar. Dr. Nerkar is a senior scientist from the Vasantada Sugar Institute in Pune and has done lot of research work on the subject of Sugar Cane. The address of Dr. Nerkar is:

Vasantada Sugar Institute,
Manjari, Bk. Tal. Haveli,
Pune, MAHARASHTRA – 4 12 307

General Subject GS3 – Specialty Sugars. Dr. Bourne, who has served ICUMSA in this demanding Subject for several years has changed his role at Tate & Lyle. It is now impossible for him to devote the amount of time necessary to fulfill the important obligations of an ICUMSA international Referee. Dr. Bourne has been replaced by Ms. Gloria Negbenebor, manager for Thames Refinery, Tate & Lyle who has an MSc and 16 years experience in laboratory analysis. The address of Ms. Negbenebor is:

Ms. Gloria Negbenebor
Tate & Lyle Sugar
Thames Refinery
London E 16 2EW, UK
e-mail: gloria.negbenebor@tateandlyle.combla bla


 Ronald Wesley Plews was born in Liverpool on the 4th July 1935, and sadly died at Ravenscourt Nursing Home, Hornchurch on the 8th January 2006, aged 70.

Ron grew up in Liverpool with his parents and two younger brothers, John and David. He didn’t study at university but instead sought gainful employment in the sugar industry straight from school, starting at Tate & Lyle’s Love Lane Refinery in Liverpool on 9th August 1954. He stayed with Tate & Lyle, working in various capacities until his retirement from Thames Refinery in Silvertown on 30th April 1993. In his early days with the company, he was given day-release to study chemistry at the Liverpool College of Advanced Technology. There Ron obtained his Degree and became an Associate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (now the Royal Society of Chemistry), receiving the special merit award of the society for obtaining top marks for written and practical examinations.

He became Chief Chemist at the Liverpool Refinery, publishing papers on polarography, automatic analysis and ion chromatography and editing “Analytical Methods used in Sugar Refining”, published in 1970 by Elsevier.
In 1981, Ron moved south to Thames Refinery in London where, in addition to managing all quality issues, he was the motivation behind the introduction of on-line analysers and computerised analytical data handling systems.
Ron’s enthusiasm for all issues associated with quality took him into ICUMSA as a member of the British National Committee, ultimately as Vice-Chairman. He was an Associate Referee for a number of Subjects and in 1986 wasappointed Referee for General Subject 3 - Speciality Sugars; handling this difficult and wide-ranging subject with distinction. He will be forever remembered for his efforts in producing ‘The History of ICUMSA; the First 100 Years’, published in 1997 and for the Award of Merit presented to him in 1998 by Dr Murray Player, the President of ICUMSA.

Ron was not just a workaholic; he was a family man, had time for people and for fun activities too. During his youth, he met his wife Joyce and they married at Richmond Baptist Church in Liverpool in 1959. Their two children, Mark and Cheryl were born to them in the early 1960s, who in turn gave them four grandchildren, Joe, Sophie, Kayleigh and Ben, all of whom he loved dearly. Ron was a true ‘all round sportsman’, learning to swim at the tender age of 54 - ‘can’t’ was a word that he could neither spell nor understand the meaning of. He was an avid Liverpool Football Club supporter, even playing on the hallowed turf of Anfield in an international match - Merseyside Grammar School v Cologne of Southern Germany. He enjoyed cricket, played badminton and tennis and in later years, with Joyce was very active in the Havering Indoor and Clockhouse Bowling clubs; as well as playing, devoting himself to organisational and secretarial tasks.

Nobody who ever had the good fortune to be in Ron’s company could fail to be touched by his dedication to every task, his compassion and his ability with words. It needed only a look or a simple phrase from him to express his pleasure or displeasure and to discipline. A phrase from Ron, heard on several occasions following unanswered requests was “the response has been underwhelming”; chastising but tinged with humour.

Ron will be truly missed by all who knew him. We offer our sincere condolences to Joyce, the rest of his family and his many friends.

Alan Mead & John Dutton.