Time flies as Tony Norman looks at his grandfather’s Queensland Rail fob watch as he himself is set to retire after 45 years in the job.
Time flies as Tony Norman looks at his grandfather’s Queensland Rail fob watch as he himself is set to retire after 45 years in the job. RON BURGIN

Tony's on track for retirement

MOST people probably can not imagine working for the same company for 45 years, and Tony Norman was not any different.

But 45 years on, he has now decided to retire from his position of supervisor station master at Queensland Rail (QR) Bundaberg, after having worked for the organisation since he was a lab porter in Gympie at the tender age of 15.

The Normans’ home is riddled with QR memorabilia, from photos, brass points and gate keys, to Mr Norman’s grandfather’s QR fob watch.

Mr Norman comes from a long line of railway workers — three generations including his grandfather, father, five uncles and his brother.

“One of my sons is also studying to become a train driver,” Mr Norman said.

He said working for the same employer could be both enjoyable and challenging.

“It felt more than 45 years on occasions with different managers and ideas, but if you weren’t prepared for change you were left behind,” he said.

Throughout Mr Norman’s commitment to QR, he said he had seen some significant changes in the industry.

“I was around when the traditional steam train went to diesel, then from diesel to electric, then the introduction of the electric tilt train and diesel tilt train,” he said.

Since then, he has raised a family with his wife, Pam, and travelled with them to more than 241 different centres all around Queensland, from Inglewood to Julia Creek and everywhere in between for his position at QR. “I’ve met a lot of people along the way and I will miss being a part of it,” Mr Norman said.

Wife Pam said she had become accustomed to packing up and making a life wherever they were.

“Moving never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do and our children were better off experiencing different places,” she said.

Mr Norman said he had never regretted spending his entire working life with QR.

“It has got me through my life — raised my family and got them through school,” he said.

His last day will be today, after which he will concentrate on his hobbies — gardening and fishing.



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