Karratha old salt leaving towm
With more than 30 years managing a supermarket meat counter, monitoring water meters and caring for Pilbara birdlife, local character John Rose has certainly made an impression during his time in Karratha.
In a town where few residents stay for long, Mr Rose carved out a niche as the meat manager of Karratha Coles for 30 years before packing up for semiretirement with his wife in Waroona on Friday.
Mr Rose first came to town with his family to take up the Coles meat manager position only three months after the supermarket had been built.
He has fond memories of his time in the Karratha store, which for some time was one of only four Coles supermarkets nationwide permitted to make their own sausages, allowing Mr Rose and his colleagues to donate meat for various community events and even, on one memorable occasion, make green sausages for St Patrick’s Day.
“People ate them because I cooked them out the front … they only had green dye, which is natural, and they were really green,” he said.
“That went over like a sensation.”
Mr Rose went into semi-retirement after 30 years and one month with Coles, but was soon lured back to the workforce as the only water meter reader for the City of Karratha area. It was a position Mr Rose called “the best job in the world” for its ability to take him all over the Pilbara, including to national parks and gorges.
“I know where every hidden water meter is — (I’m) one of about six people who know where every water meter is in the whole of Karratha,” he said.
“As you walk along you meet people with their dogs and people used to invite me in for coffee and cake — and you see all kinds of crazy things.”
Mr Rose said he would most miss the “iconic people” and the lifestyle of the Pilbara.
He plans to spend his time in Waroona pursuing his passions of gardening and breeding birds.
John Rose is leaving Karratha after more than 30 years living and working in the Pilbara.