Long service is one thing, but six decades-plus says much about work relationships.
There’s likely plenty of truckies who started off as mechanics but then got enamoured by actually driving. The only difference with this month’s nomination sent in by Maugers Contracting Ltd in Christchurch is that Peter Henry’s still doing it in his late 70s, and for the same firm he started his apprenticeship with as a cheeky 16-year-old in 1955.
His decades of service and commitment to the contracting industry probably says as much about Peter’s personality as it does about his long-time employer. Several of their staff have decades-long employment. He started off with Maugers Garage of North Brighton, working for Warner Mauger and working on equally renowned Ryan Brothers’ equipment.
He still works for the company Warner subsequently developed (Mauger Contracting) but now under the studious eye of son Phil Mauger and Lee Pomeroy.
He’s driven everything from draglines to dozers, scrapers to International Fleetstars, and now rides in the modern comfort of his 460 horsepower V8 Nissan transporter.
As Peter says, even during the hard times, “...everyone got paid and nobody got put off. The feeling of security that gives you and your family is marvellous. You respect that, hell yes.”
After his more than 60 years toil, Peter is close to finally retiring. His and wife Veronica’s home (a house that was built by R. G. Mauger Limited) was condemned after the destructive Canterbury earthquakes and the newly-built ‘phoenix’ that is nearly risen on the same property will be the trigger for his deserved retirement.