Life­time on job

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KELLI HOOKS

From im­pe­rial mea­sures to met­rics, dec­i­mal cur­rency and com­put­ers, Bernard Mckelvey wit­nessed his­toric changes in a 50-year ca­reer with a long- stand­ing New Zealand com­pany.

Mr Mckelvey started as a ju­nior with the Wright Stephen­son group when he was 17 and on March 20 the com­pany’s suc­ces­sor, PGG Wright­son, marked his 50 years of ser­vice with a cel­e­bra­tion at the Sil­ver­spoon res­tau­rant near his Sil­ver­stream home.

‘‘A lot of bull­dust was thrown around the room,’’ Mr Mckelvey said.

The im­por­tance of his ded­i­ca­tion was recog­nised when he was pre­sented with a plaque by the com­pany’s man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Ge­orge Gould.

The an­niver­sary of Mr Mckelvey’s 50th year was on Jan­uary 15.

He be­gan his work in Dunedin and since then has worked in many cen­tres around the North Is­land, from Wells­ford to Tai­hape be­fore mov­ing to the Porirua cen­tre in 1990.

‘‘ I’ve held var­i­ous po­si­tions in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions deal­ing with dif­fer­ent peo­ple,’’ he said.

‘‘Ev­ery dis­trict you are in has a dif­fer­ent clien­tele.’’

His role con­sists of mainly look­ing af­ter the as­sets on be­half of the com­pany, which are the stock and also the staff. He is also in charge of keep­ing the clien­tele happy.

‘‘Peo­ple are most wel­come to come over to PGG Wright­son and we’ll look af­ter them,’’ Mr Mckelvey said.

High­lights for him in­cluded the change from im­pe­rial mea­sures to met­ric, and from pounds, shillings and pence to dec­i­mal cur­rency.

‘‘All the staff had to be trained in what dec­i­mal cur­rency was all about,’’ he said.

But the big­gest change came with the de­vel­op­ment of com­put­ers.

‘‘[The com­pany] went from hand­writ­ing doc­u­ments to com­put­er­gen­er­ated doc­u­ments and in­ven­tory con­trol.’’

One of the great things about work­ing for PGG Wright­son for Mr Mckelvey is the peo­ple.

‘‘Most peo­ple in the ru­ral sup­plies busi­ness are good peo­ple,’’ he said.

The PGG Wright­son store in Porirua is a farm sup­ply store sell­ing a mul­ti­tude of sup­plies to farm­ers and own­ers of life­style blocks. It is not just for farm­ers. ‘‘Town­ies are al­lowed to shop with us,’’ he said.

Mr Mckelvey plans to work for PGG Wright­son for a few more years.

‘‘As long as you en­joy your job, why change?’’

Seen many changes: Bernard Mckelvey.

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