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World Refrigeration Day

26 June 2019 an annual event #WREFD19

The first commercially viable “Ice machine” utilizing a vapour compression cycle was built in 1851, Geelong Victoria by a British Australian Journalist come engineer by the name of James Harrison. After failed attempts of refrigerated sea freight from Australia to England. James now bankrupt returned to his work as a journalist in Victoria where he was forgotten for his revolutionary innovation and died with the inscription on his tombstone “One soweth, another reapeth”. (Bruce-Wallace, 2018)

Fast forward 30 years, the first Ammonia Freezing works in New Zealand was commissioned at Burnside 1881. Almost a year later, thanks to the pioneer efforts of M.V Dunedin, New Zealand successfully transported almost 5000 carcasses of sheep and lamb to the United Kingdom thus opening the door for Aotearoa to become one of the worlds heavy hitters in agriculture even despite our remote proximity on the globe.

Ex president Stephen Gill of the Institute of Refrigeration UK fought long and hard to establish World Refrigeration Day which is now a United Nation's backed event set to take place for the first time on June 26th 2019. The purpose behind the day is to acknowledge the great significance that these maverick scientists and engineers have had in our modern society and to promote the visibility of our often invisible industry. #wrefd19

On this day we as refrigeration specialists we can take the time to reflect the importance of pioneers such as James Harrison and Willis Carrier the inventor of the modern air conditioner together with their predecessors William CullenOliver Evans and  John Gorrie

The date of World Refrigeration day was chosen due to the day Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 - 1907) was born - the developer of the accurate Kelvin scale of temperature measurement.

What does World Refrigeration Day mean to us?

If i had to condense (no pun intended) Refrigeration into one word, it would be opportunity. Entering the world of refrigeration opens many doors of possibility, its exciting, its challenging, its vast. Refrigeration is the endless array of color crayons and im the sketchbook, i can do what i like with the crayons, provided i stay on the page. You can go where ever the wind takes you. The learning never ends, 'every day is a school day' as a good friend always says. I have managed to travel the world as a technician, working in mind blowing locations off the beaten track or even bobbing around in the middle of the pacific ocean. I have visited facilities that others wouldn't even know existed. Traveling through work is so much different than that of a holiday as you meet people on a personal level, more frequently, you are often invited into there homes, given authentic food, taken out and provided with local knowledge that you would not otherwise manage to figure out on your own. Now as a trainer, I am able to give back to the industry that provided me with all my wealth of life experience. The funny thing is, is that it [Refrigeration] keeps on giving back. Everyday im learning new skills, traveling to astonishing places and meeting interesting people. Yes there has been many troubling times along the journey too. There has been injury, tears and anguish, distress and immense pressure to achieve results when the chips are down and things seem all but over, but as I was always told by my many others before me its all character building - its how you deal with this stress and make do with a dire situation, adapt and move forward - make that thing cold. Just as i have experienced somewhat exclusive positive opportunity, I have also had exclusive negative which gave me lessons in applied resilience both have provided me with outcomes that i can adopt into my life that very few vocations could provide. Outside of the grind also brings opportunity, many people see a person in overalls and dirty hands and think we are beneath them, little do they know we are most probably earning more money then they are and we can fix just about anything we put our minds to. 

Due to the exposure of opportunity a Refrigeration Technician or Engineer can progress and expand to almost any position in the industry, from sales and marketing to management, design and innovation as well as teaching or starting their own organisation. Refrigeration provides growth to explore and fulfill roles just about anywhere in the sector. 

World Refrigeration Day is an opportunity for the people who make this trade special to strengthen their bonds, lay down the house banners for a day, clink glasses and let the world know who we are and what we do behind the scenes. 

Whats happening on the day?

NZ refrigeration suppliers will be celebrating throughout the day - check out their links below to find out more. 

Join trainees from Manukau Institute of Technology with Matthew Darby, Founder and Managing Director of EcoChill and Peter Murphy, Industry Manager MIT to find out what the Future of Cool looks like:

Facebook Live talks on the importance of refrigeration start at 10am and go through til 1pm.  Register here 

Use Twitter #wrefd19 and @worldrefday to post pictures of your events and stories on the day
Join up now! A one-off discount on the first years joining fee available to all new members who apply before 26th June.  Join up now!

Fantastic Fridges. Live launch of the new "Cooling Science" and "Cool Careers" sections of this  website for school children, linked to the UK National Curriculum. Refrigeration science made fun with videos, games and technology explainers.  An interactive careers area shows different career paths and opportunities.  See the current site (under redevelopment)

Careers in Cooling. Live viewing of the IOR video all about the contribution of refrigeration and air conditioning to modern society. Watch on You Tube 

Women in RACHP 100 for 100 campaign is aiming to increase the number of female members in the IOR to 100 by 23rd June, International Women in Engineering day.
Exhibition at East of England Arena, UK.  

A World Refrigeraiton Day Pavillion at the Temperature Controlled Storage and Distribution Exhibition at the East of England Arena will feature live broadcast talks focusing on different aspects of the RACHP industry hosted by ACRIB (

Practical Refrigeration Training Centre in Burnley, UK. The day includes a Skill Fridge Competition and information, advice and breakout area. Full details and booking information can be found here.

AIRAH the national institute will be organising tours of Woolworths Supermarkets and a podcast on HFC phase down as well as an Aussie Inventors Series in association with the History Channel focusing on James Harrison 

Madrid, Spain. The professional associations AEFYT (Asociación de Empresas de Frio Y sus Tecnologías), AFAR (Asociaicón de Fabricantes andaluces de Refigeración) and AFEC (Asociación de Fabricantes Españoles de Climatización) are joining together to host an event in Madrid's “Ateneo” the home of important lectures by famous politicians and scientists.   

The event will be from 10:30 until 14:30 with a conference, two debates with industry experts and a journalist, and at the end a networking celebration. 
Burkina Faso. 

Refrigeration for the Socio-Economic Development of Africaat the New Cold System Sarl in Ouagadougou, under the theme of “Refrigeration for the Socio-Economic Development of Africa”:

Hesse Thuringia, Germany. Open Day: Visit the technical training centres of Bundesfachschule Kälte Klima Technik and discover training and study programmes available -

Padua, Italy. International Symposium on "Refrigerants: heat transfer and applications" organised by the University of Padua, the National Council of Research (CNR) and the Italian Union for Thermal-fluidynamics (UIT) aims to present advances in heat transfer and applications - 

Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Conference on national refrigeration issues in collaboration with the National Union of Professional Refrigeration technicians of Ivory Coast (UNTPFCI), the Zeus Expertise Sarl company will organise a debate on key refrigeration issues - 

Mexico. National Association of Refrigeration and Air conditioning Distributors (ANDIRA) will come together with a range of national associations to organise different events - details at 

USA. Webinar: Refrigerants for Life; how refrigerants affect modern life. Organised by UN Environment and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), you are invited to join international experts as they provide insight on the key role refrigerants play in modern life: June 26, 9.00am to 10.30am    

Join us in the celebrations

Gauge Refrigeration Management Ltd will be stepping out of the office to join in on the celebrations at local suppliers around Auckland. We have also organised a tour of a Auckland based Industrial refrigeration operation. Please register your interest at here

Numbers are strictly limited so get in quick. 

Nearing the end of the working day we will be meeting up at Wynyard Quarter with members of the New Zealand Refrigeration Network to have some refreshments. Those members please check the event on our Facebook group


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