Bundaberg Regional Council employees Richard Senyard and Ian Bryer have clocked up 40 years of service to the organisation.
Both men were recognised at a Council awards evening last week for their loyalty and the skills they have brought over four decades of uninterrupted employment.
In addition to their extended service, both men shared a common view that Council was an excellent employer which offers opportunities to improve work-related skills and provides a great family of work colleagues.
The fact that their fathers had also worked for Council was another common thread shared by Richard and Ian.
Ian came to Council as a painter after working for almost 10 years with a local contractor.
“My dad Norm was a truck driver with Council so I guess I was aware of the job security that a position with Council can bring,” he said.
“I really enjoy painting because you can immediately see reward for effort. There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to lift the appearance of something.
“During the past 40 years I have worked with a pretty reasonable sized team of professionals. At times we had up to five apprentices but with the passage of time I’m the only one remaining in this area of Council.”
You can’t be in the painting trade for such an extended period without the odd mishap.
Ian well remembers one day mixing paint that was supposed to be a vibrant white.
“When it was applied it was darn nearer grey,” he laughed. Then there was the time he started sanding down the walls of the wrong house. “Mistakes happen,” he said with a grin.
Richard Senyard works in Water Services as a treatment plant operator.
During his career he has been responsible for ensuring sewerage treatment plants, particularly at Millbank, operate without a hitch.
“The floods of 2011 and 2013 certainly posed their challenges in dealing with escaping raw sewerage,” Richard said.
“I can recall heading over North Bundaberg shortly after it was safe to do so and see the utter devastation of the streets and properties. “I’ve never seen a war zone, but I felt it must look something like that.”
When not working both men enjoy rather diverse interests.
Richard enjoys bowls and a beer. “My wife Sandra and I like to travel. We have a son in Canada and have been there three times. When I do finally retire I think travel will be very much on the cards.”
Ian, on the other hand, loves scratching in the dirt.
“My wife and I have an old house at Rubyvale where we go digging for sapphires. We have found a few nice ones. I find it such a relaxing thing to do,” said Ian.
Both men agreed that Council had provided them with job security and the opportunity to work in a great community and to raise their families here.
While Richard came to Bundaberg at around five years of age Ian has been here all his life. “After arriving here I’ve never wanted to live anywhere else,” Richard said.
Mayor Jack Dempsey said today’s workforce is much more transient, with employees likely to engage with a number of employers to improve job opportunities and to grow their skill base.
“As a Council we don’t mind that. It’s great that we can skill people who them move on to grow those skills even further and they are usually positive advocates for the time they spent with Council,” he said.
“The great thing about our workforce is their ability to adapt to change. Those ripples of change lead to oceans of opportunities for Council and our community.”
The awards evening, held at the Multiplex, recognised 27 Council employees with service from 20 to 40 years and others who received value awards for peer-nominated categories.
A special moment during the evening was the presentation of a 20-year service award honouring the late Shane Partridge.
Shane, who was a leading hand in Civil Works, succumbed to cancer on August 15 this year. Shane’s son Jack accepted the award.
Shane’s wife Maree joined her son at the presentation which was warmly applauded by Shane’s former work colleagues.
Recognition certificates for 5 and 10-years’ Council service were presented to recipients at a previous function.