Ron Eddy, 73, Was a Far-Sighted Strategist in Wood Preservation

TimTech Chemicals challenged major global companies

Mon 26 Feb 24


The death in Auckland on January 31 of Ron Eddy, aged 73, a respected and far-sighted strategist in the field of wood preservation, has sent waves of shock and sadness across the industry and among his many friends and business associates around the globe.

Ron’s contribution to the timber industry over many decades is legendary, especially the high goals he set and achieved over a long career that included roles as managing director of Koppers Hickson Timber Protection and founder and managing director of TimTechChem International Ltd.

Ron’s legacy spanned 40-plus years with the timber treatment and protection industry, starting out in his home country, South Africa, where he worked for Hickson Timber from 1977. 

In 1986, with his wife Lyn and family, he emigrated to New Zealand and transferred to Hickson Timber NZ as marketing director in 1990.

The joint venture company Koppers-Hickson Timber Protection (NZ) Ltd was set up with Ron as the managing director. 

In 1997, he took a break from timber treatment, working for the NZ Institute of Management for a few years before launching TimTech Chemicals Ltd in New Zealand in 2001 and Australia a year later.

Ron’s driving force behind TimTech from 2001 to 2020 opened new horizons in the marketing, science research and application of wood treatment technologies on both sides of the Tasman against competition from two major global companies. He retired in 2020.

His education included a national diploma in analytical chemistry (University of the Witwatersrand); Post Graduate Diploma in management, science and technology and Master of Management Strategy, (University of Auckland).

Ron was appointed to the executive council of the International Research Group on Wood Protection at the 47th meeting of the IRGWP in Lisbon in May 2016. He was chosen from a list of international candidates to take part in leading the group’s future over the next three years.

“He was a great man and a great character, too,” remembers Angelo Hrastrov, formerly of Araxada, Lonza and Arch Chemicals.

“Ron’s helpful tutelage served me well when I started out in this industry.”

Mr Hrastov recalls a lunch with Ron when he was managing director of Koppers-Hickson Timber Protection in New Zealand.

“Straight off, Ron laid it on the line: “If you call a spade a spade and no bs, you’ll be fine.”

.A supporter of many charities and global networks, Ron was president, secretary and director of the Rotary International Club of St. Johns in Auckland.

A postscript from an Aussie mate: “Ron was a brilliant chemist and an outstanding market strategist. Wood is better for it.”

Ron is survived by his wife Lyn, two daughters, Janine Stewart and Angela Burgess, four grandchildren, a brother, Clive, in South Africa and a sister, Sheldene Crookes, in New Zealand.


  • Jim Bowden

    Jim Bowden, senior editor and co-publisher of Wood Central. Jim brings 50-plus years’ experience in agriculture and timber journalism. Since he founded Australian Timberman in 1977, he has been devoted to the forest industry – with a passion.


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