ALAN Walsh was a 17-year-old apprentice when he started working for construction firm Bennett in 1975.

Forty-five years later, he's been part of some of the biggest building projects on the Northern Rivers.

Originally from Pallamallawa, near Moree, in NSW, Mr Walsh came to the Northern Rivers aged 11 to finish studies and has always lived in the Ballina Shire.

At Bennett he started as an apprentice, and currently works as a site supervisor.

"I enjoyed the work and I guess the company has been happy with me as well," he said.

Currently working on some upgrades for the Ballina RSL, Mr Walsh said he has been back to some of the sites he had worked on over the decades.

"We were here at the RSL initially in the late 1970s, and then working on the three stages of the building," he said.

"The site of Alstonville Adventist Retirement Village was a special one, because you know the people who will live there will get something good.

"Another one was the building of the current council chambers in Lismore."

 

Project manager Mick Furchtman celebrates as Alan Walsh (centre) is congratulated by Bennet's general manager Tim Cohen.
Project manager Mick Furchtman celebrates as Alan Walsh (centre) is congratulated by Bennet's general manager Tim Cohen.

 

Bennett's project manager Mick Furchtman has worked with Mr Walsh for 20 years.

"He brings a world of knowledge to the site, from sites of all sizes," he said.

"He's local, he's an avid golfer and he's a friend.

"He's got a great rapport with his co-workers and subcontractors, he's laid back, no-fuss, no-stress, level headed qualities that come from experience."

Mr Walsh will celebrate 45 years working for the company on November 19, and Bennett is preparing a big celebration to mark the occasion, general manager Tim Cohen said.

"We've got the old managing director and owner of the business coming back to celebrate at a big barbecue celebration, and to deliver a special gift," he said.

"I'd say this would be special occasion for most companies Australia-wide, particularly going forward, I think this will be a rare milestone.

"It also shows what it possible and the power of being an integral part of a business."


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