Council workers plan shindig

ROAD CREW: (back) Warren Watts (46 years service with LCC), Wayne Cowan (39 years), Norm Bale (23 years) and Neville Hayward (41 years); (front) David Copping (42 years) and Bill Watts (40 years).
ROAD CREW: (back) Warren Watts (46 years service with LCC), Wayne Cowan (39 years), Norm Bale (23 years) and Neville Hayward (41 years); (front) David Copping (42 years) and Bill Watts (40 years).

WITH 23 years under his belt working for Lismore City Council, Norm Bale is still considered by some to be the new kid on the block.

Last Friday, The Echo caught up with six workers with a combined experience of 232 years. Norm and some of his colleagues are organising a gathering for past and present outdoor workers on Saturday, November 24.

Outdoor workers are the road repair crew, truck drivers, parks and garden workers, water and sewerage people and workshop staff. Some of those attending have worked for Lismore Council since before the amalgamation with Terania and Gundarimba Shire in 1977.

More than 100 people have already indicated they will be attending and Norm hopes the word will spread to make it a really big day.

"We're inviting all ex-outdoor workers who were employees of Lismore City Council during the 1980s and 1990s, as well as current staff - and anyone who may have had an association with the workers during this time," Norm said.

Warren Watts has been in the job for 46 years, working on road construction and maintenance.

"It does take a toll physically, but I've been pretty lucky," Warren said.

"I started out doing general labouring, then went through the system to driving a front-loader."

Like Warren, David Copping worked for Gundarimba before amalgamation. There have been many changes in the way staff relate to the organisation over the years.

"The personnel office once was our connection with council, but now it's more impersonal - we get emails," David said.

"But the machinery we use these days is far better. I started on an eight-tonne truck, but the ones we drive now are 28 tonnes or more, and far more sophisticated."

Norm Bale is asking anyone who would like to come to the reunion to indicate their interest, so that numbers for catering and staff arrangements can be known well in advance.

It's being held at the Italio Australian Club from 1pm on Saturday November 24. Phone Rod Love, 0427 929 831; Norm Bale, 6682 4236; or Jeff McMahon, 6624 2661.

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