FINAL CUT FOR HARD WORKER AT ABATTOIR
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.