Considine and Johnston stalwart retires


Considine and Johnston stalwart retires

Illustrious career: Gary Bullen retired from Considine and Johnston on December 21, 2018.

GARY Bullen has called it a day at Leongatha’s Considine and Johnston Builders (C&J) after an illustrious career there spanning just over 37 years.
He began as a draftsman for C&J in October 1981, six years after the business started, and worked his way up toward project management. Prior to Leongatha, he undertook a three year traineeship with Coldon Homes at Wonthaggi.
C&J partner Ross Considine told the story of Mr Bullen first securing a Leongatha draftsman’s guernsey.
“How he came to our attention was through one of our partners, Phil Johnston, who met up with him on the footy field. It’s a good place to recruit and he looked a million dollars back in those days,” Mr Considine remarked.
Mr Bullen recalled some his earlier memories and fondest projects around the Leongatha area, including the ANZ arcade and the original building of Michael’s Supa IGA supermarket.
“We worked with a syndicate of investors and took on the projects. They had faith in us and wanted to employ local contractors,” Mr Bullen said.
“ANZ took about seven to eight months to complete and Michael’s IGA about 12 months.
“C&J originally started after Ross and Phil worked for (local builder) Stan Stubbs, completing their carpentry and joinery apprenticeships with him.
“It was after Stan’s retirement that Ross and Phil went out on their own, forming C&J.”
The McMillan Rural Study Centre, since knocked down, was one of C&J’s first, big commercial projects. It was a training college for developing farm apprentices, among other things.
Mr Bullen has worked on hospitals, ferry terminals at Port Welshpool, police, fire and ambulance stations, Evans Petroleum’s service stations, Salvation Army buildings, pubs and all manner of primary schools between Koo Wee Rup to Alberton.
“One of the people I really enjoyed working with was Leongatha Steel Fabricators’ Garry Hayward. He did a lot of our steel work early on and was an industry legend, so much so that he’d be embarrassed if he had to bring back his oxy torch for corrections,” Mr Bullen added.
“Technology has been a major improvement for running the business efficiently but it certainly puts a lot more pressure on with increased work. And people want it now, because you can have it now.
“But the one thing that really sticks out in my mind is that the unique thing about C&J is there have been very few dissatisfied customers because we treat each and every project personally, like it was our own.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure working here for 37 years.
“I have so many fond social memories but it’s probably not a good idea to go into those in great detail. Outside of work we’ve made some great fishing, camping and golfing trips; too many to speak of.
“I love fishing and camping myself and I’ve got a reasonably large shed at home I love to tinker in.
“I love building stuff.
“As for retirement, my accountant told me to have a choice.
To that end, Mr Bullen sees himself where he feels at home and plans to get in some fishing in Western Australia for three months in 2020.

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Posted by on Jan 15 2019. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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