From the Newsroom

Production Supervisor at Marshall Notaras Hardwoods, formally J Notaras and Sons Sawmill, Trevor Bailey is retiring on July 3 after 47 years. Image: Fran Dowsett

47 years a timber-ific milestone

Emma Pritchard

“If you’re on a good thing, stick to it.”

That’s what Trevor Bailey said in 2022 when he celebrated 45 years working at J Notaras and Sons Sawmill.

Fast forward to 2024 and the Production Supervisor for the South Grafton based business, now known as Marshall Notaras Hardwoods, is preparing to sign off for the final time on July 3 after 47 years as a loyal and dedicated employee.

While he initially planned to pursue a career as a builder or cabinet maker, the unavailability of local apprenticeships prompted Mr Bailey to reassess his options prior to commencing work at the sawmill as a trainee kiln operator in 1977.

As his vast skillset and knowledge expanded, he quickly progressed through the grades while applying himself diligently to each task at hand.

After gaining experience as a boiler attendant, he assumed his current role in 1995.

While he previously told the Clarence Valley Independent “it didn’t feel like that long ago” when he arrived on site for his first day, Mr Bailey said until he strikes up conversations with some of the newest employees at Marshall Notaras Hardwoods and begins to “reference times before they were born”, that’s when he starts to think “oh s**t” as he reflects on the extraordinary length of his respected career.

During the devastating Black Summer bushfires which severely impacted timber supplies and through the unprecedented challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Bailey credits the steadfast support of the owners and management team at the local business which enabled the sawmill to remain in production and retain local employment. 

General Manager of Marshall Notaras Hardwoods Donna Layton, who has worked alongside Mr Bailey since 1978, said he will be greatly missed following his retirement this week.

“His expertise in kiln drying timber, and the knowledge he possesses from what he has learned over the years about working with timber, he’s such a valuable team member,” she explained.

“And his great memory – he remembers where we’ve bought parts from, and he remembers when things were fitted.

“We don’t need to look them up in the computer when we can just ask Trevor.

“If someone has a problem or they want to know more about timber, they always go and speak to him.

“He’s just a wealth of knowledge and he’ll be missed by everyone here.

“47 years, it’s a wonderful contribution.”