Fifty years in the chocolate trade

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

It’s not hard to see why Mar­garet Walker and Ca­role Davies think their jobs are pretty sweet.

The pair cel­e­brated 50 years work­ing for con­fec­tionery com­pany Cad­bury last week and were re­warded for their ded­i­ca­tion with a makeover, a spe­cial lunch with old work­mates, and a night in a swanky ho­tel.

“We were very spoiled,” Mrs Walker says.

The Mt Al­bert res­i­dent started in the flakes depart­ment at Griffins and Sons in 1959 in Grey Lynn when the com­pany still made break­fast ce­real.

She then moved on to the marsh­mal­low depart­ment at the Avon­dale-based fac­tory in 1976, where she’s still based to­day.

“The marsh­mal­lows used to be beau­ti­fully big and fluffy and we’d cut them with an old guil­lo­tine,” she says.

She says there have been huge changes in the in­dus­try since she be­gan all those years ago.

“When I first started it was all hand-pack­ing and ev­ery­thing was wrapped in brown pa­per.

“To­day it’s all au­to­mated ma­chin­ery. It’s faster and can sup­ply more.”

Now she helps run the staff shop, along with con­tin­u­ing to pack the sweets.

Miss Davies started her work­ing life as a packer at Swee­t­acres con­fec­tionery in the city, be­fore mov­ing to the Avon­dale fac­tory when it opened in 1961.

The Pt Che­va­lier res­i­dent saw Swee­t­acres taken over by Griffins and then Cad­bury in 1990, but she says they’ve al­ways looked af­ter their staff.

“They have been such a good com­pany to work for and I like the work,” she says.

At 66 years old, both women are looking at re­tire­ment when the Avon­dale fac­tory closes later this year as con­fec­tionery pro­duc­tions move to Dunedin and Aus­tralia.

“It’ll be sad to see it shut,” Mrs Walker says.

“I’ve worked with other ladies there for 25 and 30 years.”

Both women have plans to do char­ity work when their time at Cad­bury is done.

Cad­bury New Zealand manag­ing di­rec­tor Matthew Old­ham de­scribes the pair’s years of ded­i­ca­tion to one com­pany as “in­spi­ra­tional”.

“I, along with the whole team, have such pride, re­spect and ad­mi­ra­tion for Ca­role and Mar­garet’s hard work and com­mit­ment.”

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Sweet job: Mar­garet Walker and Ca­role Davies cel­e­brated 50 years of work­ing for Cad­bury last week.

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