JOHN Dore was a nervous wreck during his job interview for a Pakenham food processing factory in 1971.
He was so nervous that it was his father who did the talking for him, landing him a job he would go on to spend the next 45 years of his life working.
But now at 60 years of age, the Nar Nar Goon man, affectionately known as Dorey, comfortably stood in front of a crowd of about 150 fellow Simplot staff members, cracking several jokes as he touched on the many memories of his milestone career.
All processing lines at Simplot in Pakenham stopped for about an hour from 2.30pm on Friday 5 February as workers gathered to celebrate their long serving colleague on his years of service.
Site manager Steve Cathie described Dorey, a site maintenance fitter, as a “very loyal, well respected and treasured” member at the Pakenham factory.
“Everyone loves John,” he said.
But no one loves John more than his wife Judy who developed a romantic relationship with him on-site during the early ’70s.
“We worked in the same area. I looked after the machine she worked on,” said the dad of six.
Mr Dore is Simplot’s second longest current serving worker nationwide.
He said the celebration event came as a surprise to him because he expected he would get his big hoorah at his 50 years of service mark.
“I am over the moon. Thanks for recognising me,” he said.
“The 19th of January is a special day for me. Every year I remember my first day. My mum applied for the job for me and my father came to the interview,” he said.
To the sounds of laughter from the crowd, John told colleagues he put in his 10 years notice five years ago.
“My goal is to make it to 50 years,” he said.
“I hope all here can share that day with me. It’s going to be a doozy.”
His milestone achievement was celebrated with a giant cake, gift and card.
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