50 Years of Service – Neil Bennetts

Neil joined Gordon Brothers on 7th April 1967 at the factory in Union Street Brunswick.

This was Neil’s 6th job after working for several companies during his teenage years.

  1. Served in Milk Bar at Gilmour’s Dairy.
  2. Sheet metal work at WE Cash.
  3. Apprentice electrician with B Baxter. (sacked after 2 months for touching freshly painted wall with dirty hands)
  4. Apprentice fitter & turner at Stewart Evans
  5. Machinist at Marbutt Mouldings (only lasted 1 day, a contrast to his 50 years at Gordon Brothers)

Upon joining Gordon Brothers, Neil worked in the fitting department, working on bakery machinery before moving into the machine shop where he was involved in the production of a huge variety of components for refrigeration compressors and bakery equipment to name a few. Neil was known as “Mr Versatile” and was later promoted to the position of leading hand responsible for up to 15 people.

Shortly after joining Gordon Brothers in 1967, Neil met his wife Rita. They were married in 1972 and have two children, Craig born in 1976 and Darren born in 1979. They also have two grandchildren.

In 1978, the company moved from Union Street to the present location in Michael Street Brunswick. Shortly after moving to Michael Street, Neil took over the role of supervisor where he oversaw all factory operations, including machine shop production, the manufacture of pressure vessels, air coolers, evaporative condensers, reciprocating compressors, ice machines, plate freezers, freon equipment and bakery equipment.

In the late 1980’s Neil designed and commissioned a fin die used in the manufacture of 16mm finned air cooler coils. This die is still in use to this day.

When Gordon Brothers’ manufacturing operation moved to Bendigo in 1990, Neil became involved in the introduction of computers throughout the company.

Prior to Neil’s involvement, the company had a Wang computer which was used for accounts, a HP computer restricted to a couple of engineering functions and one personal computer used for word processing.

Neil was involved with the implementation of the first three IBM personal computers which were connected via a small network. More personal computers were added over the next 15 years and the network expanded until there were around 90 personal computers Australia wide.

In the early 1990’s Neil introduced AutoCAD to Gordon Brothers. This was initially licensed for 3 computers with the number increasing over the years. Most Gordon Brothers offices now have multiple AutoCAD installations.

In 1997, Neil was involved with the implementation and certification of the ISO 9001 Quality Assurance system. Neil has been actively involved with this system up to the current day.

Around 2010, Neil was asked to become involved in projects and was responsible for installations such as JBS King Island, Mars Ballarat and Australian Munitions Mulwala.

In 2015, Neil took over the role of Health and Safety Leader, a position that he is still involved with.

Gordon Brothers would like to take this opportunity to thank Neil for his loyal service and enormous contribution to our success.

Thank You, Neil

Participating in a wide variety of activities during his enormously productive career, Neil has always been willing to help out with many varied and miscellaneous, sometimes obscure, requests. Neil is a talented and highly valued member of our staff, and Gordon Brothers would like to take this opportunity to thank him sincerely for 50 years of loyal service.

50 Years Service, Employee, Gordon Brothers

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