Rod Gray, 49 years  with the Department of Housing and Public Works.
Rod Gray, 49 years with the Department of Housing and Public Works. Allan Reinikka ROK020218arodgray

Apprentice to housing boss:CQ man reflects on 49-year career

SIGNING his letter of resignation was harder than Rod Gray thought but after 49 years working in Rockhampton, he finally put pen to paper.

Starting out as an apprentice carpenter in 1969, Mr Gray said spending his career in the Department of Housing and Public Work services was the best and only job he'd ever had.

The 66-year-old moved around the state with his job but eventually settled back in Rockhampton where he grew up.

After taking a well-deserved year off, Mr Gray was farewelled yesterday by his co-workers and Member for Rockhampton Barry O'Rourke in what was meant to be a "low-key" event.

More than fifty people gathered to honour Mr Gray in a morning tea at the Rockhampton office where he reflected on his time in the industry.

"The early days were a lot simpler and there was less pressure back then," he said.

"But you get used to the new age technology and I have been lucky enough to travel around the state through my career."

After hanging up the tools in the mid 80s, Mr Gray said he started working in the office with the people he now called friends.

Fellow worker, Judy Shewman, said since she started her job alongside Mr Gray as a young woman he was a mentor.

"We have made a lifetime friendship and he is a true gentleman," she said.

Mr O'Rourke said the opportunity to farewell Mr Gray right was important as he read out a letter from Housing and Public Works Minister, Mick de Brenni, thanking his commitment.

Mr Gray said he was looking forward to his days in retirement and planned to travel with his wife in their caravan.

"You have to enjoy life and what you have left, because that's the rest of my life," he said.



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