From the Newsroom

Michael Armstrong has recently retired after working at Marshall Notaras Hardwoods, formally J Notaras and Sons Sawmill, for more than 20 years. Image: contributed

23 years a proud milestone 

For the past 23 years, Michael Armstrong has been an integral part of the team at Marshall Notaras Hardwoods, formally known as J Notaras and Sons Sawmill.

An experienced fitter, whenever something has needed repairing or replacing, or any time a workmate has needed an extra set of hands to complete a task, he’s been there, happy to oblige.

As he continues adjusting to retirement and making plans for the future, Mr Armstrong describes his 23 years at the prominent local business in South Grafton as a good milestone to celebrate.

“I always enjoyed my job and the work I did each day,” he said, adding no two days were the same.

“I did a lot of things including machinery maintenance and making sure everything was running as it should be.

“I think I’ve achieved a fair bit and learned a lot too, and yeah, it does make me feel proud.

“I will miss getting up and going to work, and while it (retirement) will take some time to get used to, I think the time had come to step back.”

Recalling the many ups and downs he has encountered during his time at Marshall Notaras Hardwoods, including the devastating bushfires, wet weather events, and Covid-19 pandemic which severely impacted day-to-day operations, Mr Armstrong said the support of his workmates, community, and loyal clientele, was invaluable in ensuring the business remained open.

“We had all sorts thrown at us over the years, but we managed to pull through,” he said.

Originally from Eastern Victoria, Mr Armstrong worked on his family’s property for three months after leaving school.

He then spent 15 years working as a bridge building contractor prior to managing his own engineering business for a further 13 years.

After relocating to the Clarence Valley, he spent 18 months working at Big River Timbers before commencing the job he has recently farewelled.

General Manager of Marshall Notaras Hardwoods Donna Layton said Mr Armstrong has always demonstrated a strong work ethic, adding he will always be welcome back “any time he is needed.”

To commemorate his 23 years with the business, Marshall Notaras Hardwoods presented Mr Armstrong with a display case containing a congratulatory emblem alongside a number of tools he used daily in his job, a fond reminder of his employment.

Mr Armstrong said the display case now takes pride of place in his lounge room.

Emma Pritchard