Lifetime on job
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.