Palmer Brothers staff set for retirement 

A Ballarat business is losing more than 100 years of experience as three senior members of their staff enter retirement.

Palmer Brothers Overall Supply and Cleaning Service in Delacombe held a small function yesterday to thank the retiring staff members, who between them have 106 years of heavy-duty overall cleaning and inspection experience.

Don Kay, who will finish up on December 20, said he had enjoyed his 32 years but was looking forward to retirement.

After a quick calculation, Don estimates he would have handled 800,000 pairs of overalls in his time with the business.

He said there had been plenty of changes to the business over the years, such as the progression from a wood-fired boiler to a gas boiler, but for him, the biggest change was yet to come.

“I think I’ll take time to relax and be with the family,” he said.

Don’s mate Arthur Bridges, at the company for 36 years, will finish up next year. He said the pair had enjoyed a lot of good times together.

“We have a bit of a joke and we stir each other a bit,” he said.

“I’m right into football and he completely ignores it.”

“I’ll say to him ‘what did you think of the grand final?’ and he’ll say ‘what grand final?’.”

Arthur’s wife Joan is also ending her time with the business after 38 years.

The couple have spent their entire married life together at Palmer Brothers and even cut their honeymoon short to come back to work.

Business owner Jim Bell said it was a sad day for Palmer Brothers.

“They’re three outstanding employees,” he said. “It’s a huge blow for us but we’ve got some new recruits and if they’re half as good we’ll be OK.”