AFTER 49 years with Ballarat Glass, Des Smith will make his last cutting and say goodbye on Friday.
Des said his wife had asked him why he wouldn’t stay the extra bit to hit the 50-year milestone with the business before retiring.
“I maintain there’s no significant difference between 49.5 years and 50 years,” he said.
“It’s my birthday on Sunday and I’m turning 65, so I thought I’d coincide the two.
Ballarat Glass manager Ron Pennant, whose father started the business about 60 years ago and who has been working there about 54 years himself, said Des had become part of the furniture.
Des said he was lucky to get a job when he started in 1964.
“My parents ran a fruit and veg shop and I would help them stack shelves and clean. One day Ron’s dad was talking to my mum, asking if she knew any young men who were after a job ... I rode my bike down the next day.”
Once employing about 15 people, the Ballarat business now operates with a small team of three.
Des said he worked outside as a glazier until 1973 when he was moved into the factory as a cutter.
He said that after his retirement sunk in, it might start to feel odd not going in to work every day.
“I’ll have to turn my 6.30 alarm off,” he said. “I’ll still have to come in to do my footy tips.”