Vale George Salman: Wormald, Chubb, Tecom, Pacom Bell, Vangren, DAS & Hills
One of George’s biggest passions in life was music – he loved playing and singing.
GEORGE Salman passed away recently after a long health battle which he fought with the humour and dignity that marked all he did.
A security person to the bone, George worked for a number of companies over a career that spanned decades, including Wormald, Chubb, Tecom, Pacom Bell, Vangren, DAS and Hills. It was a great career that began on the tools helping in the family alarm installation business and ended as national sales manager of Australia’s (then) largest electronic security distributor.
“I remember George and I helping Dad (Sal Salman) doing domestic alarm systems when we were kids,” said brother, John Salman, of SE Security. “Dad had his own security company called SOS Security Systems – and this gave George the basis for his future career.
“He started at Wormald Security around 1982 as a bank installation technician,” John said. “I think this was probably his favourite job – working with guys like Joe Fenech, George Fenech, Steve Munro, Bruce Jerram, Peter Guertler, Tony Grovic, Don Gibbon, Dave Gunst, Kevin Taylor and Pierre Meunier – all great guys.
“It was during this period that I worked with George myself – we actually spoke about these times the day before he passed away – he spoke of the fun he had working with those guys at Wormald Security and the great experience he got from it.”
While George started out in the industry as an alarm installer, his people skills guaranteed he would work with customers one day.
“In the early 1990s, George got an opportunity in the Chubb sales department – I know he loved this job and ate it up – it was as if he was born to be a salesman,” John said. “After the Wormald-Chubb merger, George was offered a role in Chubb Vision working with Peter Ashton.
“He became sales manager for Wormald in 1996 and joined integrator Vangren Technology in 2000, working with Casey Van Engelen and John Green, before moving to access control manufacturer, Tecom, with Peter Floyd and Dean Riley. George later moved to Pacom Bell, then joined the Hills/DAS sales team in Sydney, finally becoming Hills’ national sales manager.”
According to BGWT’s general manager, Robert Meachem, the thing about George that made him such a wonderful person and friend was that he was a great listener.
“George was always happy, genuinely interested in others and never had a bad word to say about anyone,” Meachem said. “Even in the years during which he dealt with the loss of wife, Jill, and his own health battles, he found a way to smile and find the goodness in life. He always deflected the conversation away from himself by looking you square in the eye and asking; “How are you doing, mate?”.
“He was such a kind, generous, positive guy, and yet he was as tough and resilient as anyone I’ve met. Oh, and he loved a new car. That’s my friend George – that’s how I remember him. I miss him and I’m so privileged to have had him in my life…rest in peace, mate!”
Risco’s Peter Mellino said George always had a huge affinity for his customers and a smile larger than life, while Innotec’s Rob Rosa said working with George was a pleasure.
“I worked with George at Vangren Technology in early 2000, and then for nearly 10 years at Hills,” Rosa said. “He was one of the most respectful, lovely and knowledgeable guys in the security industry.”
Throughout his professional life, George’s emotional empathy was transcendent. He could talk about security technology, product, corporate strategy and human frailty in the same sentence, while brandishing the latest photos of his kids on a smartphone. Even when fighting for his life George retained a huge capacity to care about the troubles of others. He was a beautiful human being.
The Australian security industry may be diminished by his passing, but it was more deeply enriched by his life. Vale, George Salman. We are thinking of you.