When an Australian business celebrates its 100th anniversary, it joins a group of rare achievers. Similarly, when an employee has been with the same business for half a century, it is noteworthy, and rare, but not record breaking.
|How about when a husband and wife have both worked for the same employer, all their working lives, and chalk up a combined “century of service”? Now that takes some beating.|
Kelvin (Kel) and Elaine (Bub) Withers this year have completed 99 years of employment with H.Fay and Sons in Bingara NSW, and “Fays”, and the Bingara community, are very, very proud of their achievement.
Fays, is one of the last of the BIG country Department Stores. In fact, it calls itself, “The BIG Department Store in the Bush”, and husband and wife management team Susan (nee Fay) and Rick Hutton, are its fourth generation custodians.
“Bub and Kel, both started work at Fays in their teens, straight from school.” Said Rick Hutton. “Kel started on December 4, 1957. Bub, was put on a two week trial, by then Manager, Harry Fay on December 17, 1958. She informed me last year that she hasn’t been told that her trial period is up. She wanted to know if she should now consider her job to be secure.” Rick said.
Bub has worked in Fay’s office throughout her 49 working years while Kel has had a go at just about everything in the store during his 50 years. He has laid carpets, repaired radios, sold men’s hats, ties, suits and briefs, moved into hardware, then back to TV’s, computers, fridges, washers, cameras, the list goes on and on.
Kel and Bub have “sold and scribed and soldiered on” through, the heat of summer, the frosts of winter, and through droughts, floods, booms and busts, and have witnessed great changes in the Australian retail marketplace.
“Throughout it all, Bub and Kel, have been honest, reliable, and skilful.” Said Rick Hutton. “They have taken almost no sick leave, and they care for our customers and for their workmates, many of who now are young enough to be grand-children.” Rick added.
On Wednesday July 18, 2007, Kel Withers commenced his final “holiday break”. At its end will be retirement. As he left he said, “Thanks to Fays for all the years, but most importantly, thanks to our customers, they are the ones who have kept me in work for so long.”
With retirement Kel, and Bub, will find life a little bit different, but seeing how they place the same love and pride in their house and garden, as they do in their work, they won’t have to change too much.
Submitted by Rick Hutton – Manager / Director H.Fay and Sons
Ph:0428 255 380.