Bluey on retirement after 40 years at Ergon’s Bundy depot
IT WAS not an easy decision for Nev 'Bluey' Schneider to retire after working 40 years at Ergon Energy's Bundaberg depot.
But he was glad to leave on his terms. Six months into retirement, and while facing the start of his 66th year, Bluey enjoys the freedom to do whatever he wants.
"If you don't get things done today, there's always tomorrow," he said.
"And the thought now of storm season, you don't have to worry about the phone ringing and being called out for work.
"They're the sort of things I'm enjoying in retirement, knowing I don't have to worry about being called out.
"It was a big thing all these years because your family missed out because you were called out to accidents or storm season where you worked all through the night."
But Bluey said the job had many benefits, and he heartily recommended tradespeople consider taking up a position at Ergon if they could.
Bluey started working for what was then known as the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Electricity Board, in 1978, when Joh Bjelke-Petersen was the Premier.
Those were politically tumultuous times for a tradesperson.
"It wasn't long after I started that the unions were going for a nine day fortnight, and there was a lot of upheaval at the time," Bluey recalled.
"The last thing I wanted to do was be on strike and all that, because you didn't get paid.
"It all worked out well.
"As much as people didn't like Joh, he would stand up for what he would believe in, whether he was right or wrong."
If you or a family member has worked for a long time in the Bundaberg area, or has retired, we would love to learn of your experiences. Email your contact details and any information.