Bob notches up 45 years on the job
In a world where people rarely stay in the same job for more than a few years, Matamata man Bob Huges stands as the exception.
Hughes entered an apprenticeship as a carpet and vinyl layer after leaving Te Aroha College when he was 15. The apprenticeship was with D.Waterston House Furnishers Ltd in Matamata.
Hughes admits time is starting to catch up on the body after 45 years of being on his knees but he still has no plans to call it quits.
His tools consist of knives, mallets, stretchers, (staple) gun, hot irons and body bags.
They’re all used to carry out contracts, for two very different jobs, for the Waterson’s family business. They’re not only a furnishers but are also the local undertakers.
While tools of the trade remain the same, the noticeable changes are in the type of carpet laid.
‘‘It was all NZ wool carpet made - names like Bremworth, Cavalier, Godfrey Hirst and Feltex,’’ said Hughes.
‘‘Nowadays it’s all stain resistance nylon carpets.’’
But it was a stain on a carpet which he had laid to have caused him some consternation.
‘‘Having just finished laying a room and turned around to find what I thought was an oil stain, I set to and cleaned it only to find it remained,’’ he said.
‘‘An hour later the stain moved and it turned out to be a mark on the window reflecting onto the carpet.’’
‘‘Bob is a first class old-school tradesman,’’ according to owner Graham Waterston.
‘‘We have never had a call back for any work he has done.’’
Hughes has trained four apprentices in his long career. He plans to continue working in the industry, sharing his knowledge, for years to come. He might celebrate his 45 year milestone with a pint at his beloved Matamata Club.
Armed with staple gun and stretcher Matamata’s long serving carpet layer Bob Hughes is ready to hit the floor