Passing of former Propak exhibition director John Knocker

It is with sadness that the packaging industry says a final goodbye to John Knocker who passed away peacefully from natural causes on Friday, 05 June 2020. He leaves behind his children and grand-children. His wife passed away earlier this year; they had been together almost sixty years.

Born in 1936, John was a dedicated professional with extensive experience in sales and sales management across a broad range of industries. He had been involved with exhibitions for more than twenty-five years prior to his retirement from Specialised Exhibitions at the end of 2009. He provided a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the industry during that time; his enthusiasm and commitment always had a significant impact on both the business success and on the people working with him. John had a clear vision to expand the reach of Propak Africa and achieved significant growth through the launch of the co-located events Pro-Plas Expo, Print Expo, Pro-Label Africa and FoodPro. John also was the driving force behind the launch of the successful regional show Propak Cape.

“It is a very sad day for the industry,” says Gary Corin, Managing Director of Specialised Exhibitions. “John Knocker made such a positive impact on all stakeholders in the packaging and exhibition industry. I have known John for twenty-four years; in fact John had to approve my appointment to the company all those years ago! Mr Knocker was a passionate and dedicated professional which is why he was such a success for more than two decades in the industry.”

John will be missed by many. Even after his retirement John attended every Propak Africa and Propak Cape exhibition, catching up with exhibitors he had known for years and enjoying many cups of coffee with those he regarded as friends from Specialised Exhibitions, industry associations and media.

“I only knew John for a short time but he made such an impact on me and it is an honour to carry his legacy through Propak,” says Sven Smit, portfolio director for Propak Africa and Propak Cape.

Corin says that “all management and staff at Specialised Exhibitions extend condolences to John’s family and friends. We believe that all who knew John will ensure that his legacy is not forgotten.”