FORTY years ago, Thurgoona’s Faye Dean walked onto the factory floor at Albury tool manufacturer Apex Tool Group.
Yesterday, she finally said goodbye to the friends and colleagues who, over the past four decades, have become a second family.
“It’s a little bit sad, I will miss everyone,” she said, just after the crew had hosted a morning tea in her honour.
The milestone she reached is almost as long as the company itself has been operating — it had only been open two years when Mrs Dean arrived.
There’s been many changes in that time, mostly to the production processes.
“When I first started it was all just working by hand, not in a process line like this,” she said.
“It’s been good seeing the way things change — the way we used to do it was a lot harder.
“It’s just been a great pleasure working here.”
Plant manager Colin Orr said Mrs Dean’s record was impressive.
“She’s been a very good worker the whole time she’s been here,” he said.
“If you needed something done that takes a little extra effort, she always put her hand up.”
Mrs Dean, who turns 70 next month, is looking forward to travelling with her husband.