Not too many people can say they have been a part of a business for three generations, watching it grow, change and succeed.
Griffith man John Howard retired from A & G Engineering Friday, after a 42 year long career that took him from a tradesman's assistant in Griffith to workshops all over the world. Being a part of the family owned business is what he says he is most grateful for looking back.
"When I started in '78 I worked with the two founders of the company Ron Potter and Lionel Irving," Mr Howard explained.
"As time went on I worked with their kids and then their grandchildren who are still there now.
"I appreciate that I have worked for a family-run company for so many years. They gave me a lot of opportunities over the years."
Those opportunities took Mr Howard from France, Vietnam, China, the United States, New Zealand and all over Australia to modernise and upgrade winery facilities, and he has more than a few good stories to share.
Over the course of his career at A & G, Mr Howard moved from apprentice to welder, site welder, maintenance manager, site foreman, tank shop foreman and crane driver.
But looking back on 42 years, what he is most proud of is being entrusted by his then boss Ron Potter to travel to the United States to learn about building panel tanks that had never before been built in Australia.
"We ended up building six big tanks for Manildra. We had dozens of people watching us as we built them because it had never been done before," Mr Howard recalled.
"Once we did the first one, then we knew we could do it. But it was all guess work until we got the roof on.
"When it all came together, it was a pretty good feeling."
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For all the opportunities he was given he gave back in time, dedication and commitment to A & G said Tom Gallagher, CEO of the company.
"On behalf of the A&G owners and staff, I can say that we feel humbled, grateful and privileged by the fact that John has chosen to dedicate his 42 working career to our business," Mr Gallagher said.
"He has been a wonderful asset, and a great character, and will forever be an integral part of the A&G family and journey.
"He should be very proud of his legacy here, and we wish he and Tracey all the very best with their move up North."
Mr Howard and wife Tracey are looking forward to using the next chapter of their lives to spend more time with their three children and five grandchildren when they relocate to Queensland in the coming weeks.
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