Sponsor spotlight: Express Glass

John Coleman’s historical strata stories

The formation of the ISTM will be one of the stories included in a new historical account of the organisation.

Some of the best ideas have no doubt emerged over a lunch or a beer or two at a pub. In this case it was over lunch when industry stalwarts John Coleman and Phil Duggan hatched a plan to record the history of Strata Community Australia (NSW) and in doing do produce a book.

Most of you will know John Coleman in his role with Express Glass but he is also a former school teacher and trained historian and the idea of writing another book – he’s written a few about historical landmarks and happenings around Sydney’s inner west – ignited his imagination. This time it will be about strata.

“I developed a passion for history while at school and now that I’m semi-retired from Express Glass I have time to do the research and talk to people,” John said.

“I especially love Ancient and Roman history and have completed my Masters in this area. More recently though I have been writing about locals from the inner west and their involvement and experiences during World War I.”

The Institute of Strata Title Management (ISTM) started in 1980 becoming SCA (NSW) in 2011 to align with the national and other state organisations. The NSW organisation will turn 40 in 2020 around about the same time the book will be published.

John realised it was time to do this while people in the industry still remember the stories. He’s been combing through the ISTM Minute books, old newspaper archives and talking to various people.

“The archives are great because the record keeping was kept so well. Strata managers are very good at keeping minutes and they like to have a good yarn. I have a long list of people to interview over the next year or so including Richard Holloway who also knows the history of strata in NSW.”

“I’ve already caught up with Gary Bugden, Peter Clisdell, Maria Linders and Judith Ferguson. While the book will document the chronological history of the organisation, I have already decided that there will be some break out stories about the families of strata. We have quite a number – the Duggans, Fergusons, Linders, Vumbacas to name a few – and it will be fascinating to hear their stories over a couple of generations.”

John will also be calling on ISTM’s first CEO, Bruce Wheeler, former and first Vice President Ken Gresham, Muriel Baraso and Wally Paterson.

Those who have provided services to the industry will also be included, people like Bill Coles, CHU’s founders Rod James and Tony Maxwell, David Le Page and others will also have great stories to tell about their experiences in the early days of strata.

John says it’s a three-year project and currently has the working title “From the ground up” which describes the revolutionary idea that today we know as strata title.

The book is wholeheartedly supported not just by Chris Duggan in his capacity as SCA (NSW) President, but also by Express Glass which has been enthusiastically supporting the research through its platinum sponsorship.

SCA (NSW) will design and print the book and arrange distribution. No doubt the book launch party will be one to remember (and record for the next book).

If you have stories or documents please contact John Coleman at john@expressglass.com.au