Meet The Ballantyne Team
I want to talk about the thing that is most important, the people that work here or have worked here over the 28 years I have worked here. Because if you just started here or you have been here as long as Pauly Williams, what you realize is that this place has been here a long time and the reason for that is it attracts good people.
Pauly Williams, I remember when he turned up as a subbie in his Belmont Panel Van or was it a Falcon, I cannot be sure, but here we are 25 years down the track and he still works at the same speed! Still arrives with a smile on his face and still enjoys being a plumber. Nothing fazes him and a true gentleman to boot what more could a business want?
Ben Foxall, nineteen years all his brothers and his sister-in-law have worked on the tools here. (Lill worked harder than Keith?) Never said more than 2000 words to me in that time…(Possibly an exaggeration) one of the fastest neatest plumbers I have ever seen. He has taught all the apprentices here how to work hard and fast.
Byron Gilly 18 years, after a rocky start as the boy from “Fornlie” wondering whether I would let him finish his apprenticeship or kill him, probably one of the most gifted gas serviceman ever to sit in an office chair! Never ceases to amaze me as to what he can turn his hand too. Anger management classes and life lessons on-going!!!
Carol Evans 17 years, self professed Office Animal, started as the cleaner, now runs the place! What she has forgotten most plumbers never learned. Never stops working for family, community and company (probably never sleeps either!).
Graeme Childsey 15 years, started as the store man and then said a few years later, do you know I am a plumber? The answer was “no I didn’t” and 11 years later down the track still “plumbing”. Easy going and can do most things he turns his hand to.
Steve Barra 11 years, started as the grommet apprentice no body no muscles (still none) loves his fast toys too much and has run into a fair bit of trouble with them over his time with us! The company has been good to him though, providing him with a wife, kids and a chauffeur in that time. Barra has provided us with plenty of laughs, good plumbing and an apprentice that looks like him in the future!
• 3 brothers have a family get together every morning.
• Mother and daughters have worked here at the same time.
• Husband and wife have worked on the tools together.
• An old fella that worked as a drainer for 45 years more with my dad than me…
lasted the two of us until he retired. Still comes in and picks up stuff from the
• We have had a girl that worked harder than the guys.
• 4 boys from the same town in Victoria worked with us at the same time.
• 2 managers from the same business in Perth came to work with us at the same
time and stayed for over 10 years.
• Half the other plumbing businesses in town used to be our apprentices.
There has been some sad stuff;
• The passing of Neville “Nifty” Young, who was truly one of the great gentlemen
of the company. He still is remembered and greatly missed.
• The passing of John Hovey our drainer of 20 years even worked with my dad.
• The passing of Joe “Lizard” Thackrah a drainer of many years still playing golf
and laying drains in the sky no doubt..
Then there has been the funny stuff that just tops off the lot;
• Vans without drivers rolling down the drive way and into the school tennis
court fence missing other cars driving into the school and only leaving minor
damage to the tennis court fence on completion.
• Ute’s complete with excavators rolling down the drive way wiping out the shed.
• Detonation of site toilets blowing walls out.
• Work utes rolling over out the front of the offi ce (no one hurt luckily)
• Fire sprinklers being set off in new buildings under constructions and a very
• Excavators laying on their sides….because they can!
So yes it has been a ride, one I would not have missed for the world … I think and of course many more rides to come. At this point it would be remiss of me not to say thank you to my greater half and life partner Noelene for living through it with me. I may make the business “go” but I can assure you all she makes it “run” meaning you all keep getting paid!
The business is changing and will always keep changing, what doesn’t change is you guys, that make it happen and it is a big thank you to you all for this. The following photo collection is essentially to celebrate 25 years of Pauly Williams time with us and to thank each and everyone of you being a part of it as well.
All the best,