From the Newsroom

John McLachlan celebrated 45 years working at J Notaras and Sons Sawmill on June 24. Image: Contributed

45 years a sawing success

Emma Pritchard

 

When John McLachlan celebrated 45 years working at J Notaras and Sons Sawmill on June 24, he reflected on the many roles he has fulfilled with the local business since he first walked through the front gates in 1977, the life-long mateships he has established with former and current employees, the challenges the timber industry has faced and overcome, the changes in productivity, and the unique ability of the business to diversify and adapt to evolving supply and demand.

Growing up on the family dairy farm at Swan Creek, Mr McLachlan knew the meaning of hard yakka and long hours when he commenced working at the sawmill as a 16-year-old stacking firewood and palings.

He soon became a dogman, (crane spotter), assisting with the loading and unloading of log trucks, and overseeing local and commercial orders for the business.

In 1981, he moved into the main section of the sawmill, and began working as a machine operator.

As he progressed through his respective roles, aided by his dedicated work ethic, experience and strong commitment to his employer, and the respect and appreciation of his workmates, Mr McLachlan quickly became an integral member of the team at J Notaras and Sons Sawmill, and a trusted and valued employee.

In 2000, he assumed the role of sawmill foreman, which he still holds today.

Now he oversees the log trucks he once helped to load and unload and passes on his skills and knowledge to new employees as they commence their respective careers in the timber industry.

Speaking with the Clarence Valley Independent last week, Mr McLachlan said he feels proud to be employed by the same local business after 45 years and describes the sawmill as a good place to work with a strong and supportive team.

John McLachlan celebrated 45 years working at J Notaras and Sons Sawmill on June 24. Image: Contributed

“This is where I’ve always been,” he said.

“Once I started here and I got myself into a routine, everything just progressed from there.

“Working at the same place for so long, I’ve had many different roles and a variety of work which has taught me a lot, and I’ve made some good memories over the time.”

Some of those memories include seeing the sizes of the log trucks increase through the years from 5 logs per truck to 30 and working alongside several colleagues who have been at the sawmill since the 1970s and 1980s.

“Working alongside people I’ve known for years, you build connections in the workplace, and you look forward to going to work and seeing them,” he said.

“That’s not something you often hear of these days.

“I’ve stuck with a job I’ve always enjoyed.”

Outside of work Mr McLachlan enjoys travelling and spending time with his family.

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