50 years on, Ross still loves his job

Ross Emerton likes to stick around - he's lived in the same suburb and worked for the same employer for his entire life.

The suburb is Tarrawanna - where he was in the first class at the local public school and where he set up the soccer club.

And the employer is O'Brien's Glass, where he started as a 16-year-old apprentice at the then Auburn Street business back on January 27, 1963.

Fifty years later, he's still there and has become the company's longest continually serving employee nationwide.

"I used to be out glazing all the time but now I'm a supervisor back at the shop, just looking after the factory now, doing all the ordering of the glass," the 66-year-old Mr Emerton said.

"But I still do call-outs after hours."

Ross Emerton of O'Brien Glass Wollongong. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

Ross Emerton of O'Brien Glass Wollongong. Picture: KEN ROBERTSON

He admits that the idea of staying at one job for so long is very rare but said he didn't have any grand reason for sticking with O'Brien.

"I just like the job. I like doing what I'm doing. I like working, that's why I haven't retired yet."

He's seen a few changes in the glass business over those 50 years, one of which is the speed in which a broken window gets repaired.

"We used to have travellers that go out and measure a broken window and you'd come and do it in two days' time," he said.

"Now you've to do it within a couple of hours."

Another change is what the workers used to do on their lunch break.

"When we were working over in Auburn Street, we had 20-odd glazers there," he said.

"At lunchtime, they'd go to the pub for two hours. I was an apprentice so I had to sit in the truck.

"Nowadays, you can't do that - when you're busy you're lucky to have 20 minutes for lunch."


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