LONG SERVICE: Neil Hayward, centre, is congratulated by fellow council workers after retiring from Clarence Valley Council after 40 years of service.
LONG SERVICE: Neil Hayward, centre, is congratulated by fellow council workers after retiring from Clarence Valley Council after 40 years of service. Adam Hourigan

Council’s longest-serving employee adjusts to retirement

CLARENCE Valley Council employee Neil Hayward didn't mess around when it came to making the decision to retire, officially hanging up his work boots two days after he turned 65.

"It was my birthday on the Sunday and I finished up on the Tuesday (March 29)," the senior field operator with water cycle said.

Of course being the current longest serving council employee, having clocked up a mighty 40 years and 21 days for the organisation, Mr Hayward has certainly earned the right to spend the rest of his days doing what he loves.

This includes the usual array of Clarence Valley pursuits.

"I'll play golf a couple of times a week and I've got a boat and a caravan so there'll be some fishing and travelling happening," he said.

"My daughter lives in Canberra so that will probably be our first trip."

Mr Hayward's colleagues bid him adieu with a sausage sizzle at the Bruce St depot where he was based, and a gift voucher to spend at his favourite store BCF (Boating Camping Fishing) which will probably translate to "another fishing rod and reel".

Mr Hayward said working for the council for four decades had been a "good journey."

"I worked for three different councils during that time, Nymboida, Pristine Waters and Clarence Valley Council, at different depots, with a lot of different people. I've made some good friends along the way," he said.

And while he was looking forward to the freedom retirement brings, he said it was early days yet.

"It still feels like I'm just on holidays. I keep looking out the front (of his house) for the work ute."

And it isn't just Mr Hayward adjusting.

"It's only been a few days and my wife has told me to get back to work already," he said.



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