50 years on they're still going strong

CHALLENGING work, a little variety and good company — they’re the keys to career longevity.

That’s according to McRae Motors’ John Clark and Wodonga Foundry’s Pat Gooding, who have celebrated 50 years at their respective employers.

Mr Clark, 66, was yesterday surprised with a commemorative trophy marking the milestone.

McRae Motors director Rod McRae acknowledged the rarity of such continued employment.

“I reckon most people these days go through not just four to five jobs, but careers,” he said.

Mr Clark started as an apprentice at the age of 16 and has been with the company through four name changes in a variety of roles.

That variety, he says, and the challenges each day are what keeps him going.

“I’ll keep going as long as I can, and as long as they’ll put up with me,” he said.

Mr Gooding, 65, echoed those sentiments.

He, too, has worked in a variety of roles and is now the foundry’s manufacturing manager.

“The challenges and the changes over 50 years have been significant, particularly in the technology side of things,” he said.

“The people I’ve worked with over those years are what make my job enjoyable.

“There’s a lot of people here who have been here more than 40 years, we’re a good team.”

Mr Gooding plans on staying at work for several years too, something that will “make Tony Abbott happy”, he quipped.

Both he and Mr Clark do make an interesting case for lifting the retirement age, and while Mr Gooding isn’t opposed to it, he does believe how it is applied needs to be examined.

“I think it’s OK for those who aren’t involved in heavy labour, but for those in manual jobs their bodies won’t last till 70,” he said.