A tribute to Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor, who turned 80 in December 2020, has been in the stationery industry since 1963. These 57 years and counting must surely be a record in our sector!

For the past 16 years, Brian has been general manager of FMIA (Forms Media Independent Africa). Apart from an amazing career, Brian has always been active in shop-sa as Past President and Honorary Life Member.

I personally met Brian in 1979 after I joined the industry via Faber Castell; a relationship that has continued until today.

Here are the highlights of Brian’s path in the stationery and office products industry:

  • 1963 – Brian joined Maurice Francis, a family stationery business in Vereeniging
  • 1966 – Enslin & Francis merged and Brian became manager in Vanderbijlpark
  • 1969 – Became manager of their new branch in Sasolburg
  • 1976 – Brian purchased the branch and formed Office Plan
  • 1979 – acquired a controlling interest in E & F, taking over Vereeniging and Vanderbijl branches
  • 1982 – sold the business to Waltons and became a director of what was then Waltons Transvaal
  • 1982 to 2002 – Brian filled many roles in Waltons: managing the Computer Media division; setting up the Office Furniture Division; and opening 15 superstores for Waltons within 15 months
  • In 1994 Brian was appointed to the main board of Waltons
  • In 1998 he was appointed MD of Walton’s Northern region
  • 2002 – 2004 – having left Waltons, Brian started another venture called Office Base
  • 2005 – After selling his interest in Office Base, Brian joined FMIA as general manager – a position which he still holds today.

In addition to his achievement in the industry, Brian also broke a world record in premier league cricket. In a game held at the Vereeniging Brick and Tile Recreation Ground (the club house was used to sign the peace treaty for the Anglo Boer War), Brian took 10 wickets for 21 runs. The team captain scored 93 off 40 balls.

The board of shop-sa and all who know Brian congratulate him on having reached the “young” age of 80.

We salute him for his invaluable contribution to our industry!

Hans Servas


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