Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

NOT even a heart at­tack could keep Rus­sell Mur­ray away from work for long.

The Oakey Abat­toir em­ployee started at the com­pany on April 19, 1985, and in his 28 years and 11 months of ser­vice, clocked up just 26 sick days.

Most of those were taken up around the time he had his heart at­tack on Fe­bru­ary 22, 2000.

But the time has come for the hard worker to hang up his knives and re­tire.

Mr Mur­ray started work­ing in the hide room, trim­ming hides for the tan­nery, and as a part-time fork­lift driver in load-out.

But most of his time was spent work­ing in the bon­ing room, pack­ing and slic­ing and, in re­cent years, he took on the role as train­ing of­fi­cer and su­per­vi­sor off-sider.

There’s no doubt been a raft of spe­cial mo­ments and mem­o­ries span­ning his time at the abat­toir, but there is one that sticks in Mr Mur­ray’s mind.

It was when af­ter try­ing to be QA of­fi­cer for 12 years, he was fi­nally given the op­por­tu­nity but not be­fore he took on the role of train­ing of­fi­cer.

Back when he started in 1985, the abat­toir was stand­ing only 19 bon­ers. Now there are 72 on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

He cred­its that in­crease to the pos­i­tive im­prove­ments made on the plant since it was taken over in 1986 by par­ent com­pany Nip­pon Meat Packers Aus­tralia.

A found­ing mem­ber of the work­ers so­cial club and a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the Butch­ers Pic­nic, Mr Mur­ray also helped ar­range so­cial func­tions for work­ers.

Oakey Abat­toir gen­eral man­ager Pat Glee­son said Mr Mur­ray was an ex­em­plary em­ployee and his com­mit­ment and loy­alty to the com­pany were sec­ond to none.

“The com­pany deeply ap­pre­ci­ated his in­put into the day to day run­ning and train­ing of bon­ing room per­son­nel,” he said.

Mr Mur­ray will now fol­low his pas­sion for mo­tor­bikes and shoot­ing, and his first ride is set for the bike rally in Ade­laide.

Man­age­ment, staff and em­ploy­ees at the abat­toir wished Mr Mur­ray and his wife Lor­raine all the best for his re­tire­ment years.


LONG SER­VICE: Rus­sell Mur­ray, who is re­tir­ing from a long and cel­e­brated ca­reer at Oakey Abat­toir, shakes hands with gen­eral man­ager Pat Glee­son.

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