Demetrius Comino, the son of a Greek oyster merchant, came from Australia to study engineering at University College, London in 1920. After graduation Dimitri, as he was usually known, was an apprentice in a substantial engineering firm but he became frustrated by large company practice and started his own business, Krisson Printing Ltd. He quickly established a thriving enterprise, and his enthusiasm for training and motivating his young staff made Krisson an exciting and demanding place in which to work.
During the Second World War he decided his future lay in manufacturing a profitable product with high volume of turnover and he refined his invention of a slotted angle construction system which he called Dexion. Manufacturing started in 1947 and Dexion’s versatility in making shelving, work benches, cupboards, exhibition stands and storage racking became progressively apparent. By the end of 1949 the Dexion company was well established and grew rapidly with extensive overseas sales; it became a public company in 1968.
Dimitri established the Comino Foundation in 1971 for the advancement and development of education, with its objects later extended so it could also focus on the anti-industrial culture of the day and the decline of UK manufacturing. The Foundation also developed Dimitri’s process for successful achievement, which became known as GRASP (Getting Results And Solving Problems), and a number of Comino Centres were established to deploy its application in the context of education.
The ongoing work of these Comino Centres has been maintained over the years and the Foundation has provided funding for numerous additional education projects, many of which have been associated with the development of opportunity for young people.
Dimitri retired as Dexion Chairman in 1974 and died in 1988. Although the original Dexion company no longer exists some of its subsidiaries continue to flourish.
The Comino Foundation is Dimitri’s main legacy. It continues to promote his commitment to ensuring that people in the UK live more fulfilled lives in a prosperous and responsible society.
The booklet Demitrius Comino OBE – a life and legacy of achievement details his beliefs, what he achieved during his life and the work of the Comino Foundation, his legacy, over 40 years