IF you’ve played football, netball or almost any other sport in Wodonga recently, chances are Steve Larkin is partly to thank.
In his 40 years on Wodonga Council’s engineering team, Mr Larkin reckons he’s had a hand in the construction of just about every type of sporting field in the city.
“I think croquet is about the only one I haven’t done,” he joked.
Mr Larkin, 58, yesterday celebrated his four-decade milestone and took time to reflect on the changes he’s seen since he began as a junior drafting officer in 1974.
Back then, the council’s offices were located where Cafe Grove now stands, the pay was $14 a day, and Beechworth Road was a single-lane carriageway.
But one of the biggest changes has been the technology available to engineers.
“When I started people were still using slide-rulers,” he said.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I expect to make 40 years.”
He attributed his longevity to Wodonga Council’s desire for its engineering team to be multi-skilled rather than specialise.
It means over the years Mr Larkin has been able to work on all projects, from roads to drains, landscaping to sports grounds, and his skills — and those of his colleagues — have constantly evolved.
Mr Larkin has no intention of slowing down any time soon — particularly with what he describes as an exciting period of growth ahead with the rejuvenation of Wodonga’s city centre.
“I think the city is very well positioned in regards to its existing infrastructure... now it needs a vibrant city centre and that’s on its way,” he said.