Elders statesman calls it quits
By EMMA CORNFORD
HE has sold more than one million cattle and trained one of the country's best young auctioneers.
But after 39 years, John Pankhurst is retiring from managing Elders Grafton, formerly Moy and Darby.
"I've seen a lot of changes to the industry over the years ... but I think it's time for someone with new ideas," he said.
"I'm proud of the work I've done for clients and ... I've made some terrific friends since I've been here. In some cases I've dealt with three generations from the one family."
Mr Pankhurst started at Moy and Darby as a booking clerk in January, 1967. From there he worked his way up to become manager of the business, which became part of Elders in 1997.
After so many years in the cattle industry, what will he do to keep himself busy?
"My wife (Lyn) and I will be travelling around. Our big trip will be Canada and we're going to do another trip, over to England. I've never had a chance to get over there."
Mr Pankhurst also hopes to spend more time with his four grandchildren and tame his wild garden, which used to be part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme.
He will also be spending more time playing in his band ? and for anyone selling an early-model Falcon, Mr Pankhurst is your man.
"I want to get involved in the area of vintage cars (and) I'm looking for something that will take my fancy.
Despite his retirement, Mr Pankhurst won't be kept away from the cattleyards as he continues to work at Elders one day a week as a consultant.
"Grafton has been good to me," he said.