Employee is recognised for 50 years on the job

Liz Bell

WHEN starting a job as an instrument technician at a small Wurruk company on February 1, 1970, John Lougheed had no idea he’d still be ‘clocking on’ at the same place 50 years later.

In an age where job loyalty and employer recognition are rare, John’s achievement is certainly worthy of recognition.

His employer, Western Process Controls, celebrated his 50-year milestone during a presentation on Wednesday, where he was thanked for his unfailing work ethic and commitment to the company and his colleagues.

A genuine quiet achiever but self-confessed workaholic, John explained his employment longevity quite simply. He loves going to work.

“I love my job, and I’ve always said that if you can’t enjoy your day when you come to work, you shouldn’t be there,” he said.

While WPC has had about seven incarnations during John’s 50-year employment, he said each management had provided him many invaluable opportunities, such as working offshore and the chance to climb the managerial ladder.

“I do appreciate that recognition, I don’t look for it, but it comes along anyway”.

John’s manager Jamie McLeod, once his underling, said John had faced many challenges in the workplace, not the least the modernisation of the industry and new digital systems, but without fail, has turned up to work with a smile and an infectiously “can do”attitude.

Technological advances over the decades have been constant, and it’s been 50 years of continual re-education for John, who described his experience as an “incredible journey. It’s a challenge,” he said.

“I learn something every day, even now, and that’s why I do it.”

Amazingly, in half a century he’s never taken sick leave, has only taken about three weeks of long service leave, and has to be gently reminded to reduce his ever-increasing bank of annual leave.

Although John, 73, has signalled he is considering retirement at the end of the year, he hasn’t set a date.

National manager Magnus Petersson, who journeyed from Melbourne for the presentation, joked that he was looking forward to another presentation to his loyal employer “in another 10 years”.

If and when he does retire, John says he will spend his new-found spare time to do more gardening and caravanning with his wife and catch up with family.