Country Energy area manager Phil Sneesby has downed tools.
Country Energy area manager Phil Sneesby has downed tools.

Phil's 41 fun years

AFTER more than 40 years keeping electricity supplied to the Clarence Valley, Country Energy’s local area manager Phil Sneesby downed tools and put his feet up after retiring yesterday.

But Mr Sneesby said adjusting to retirement would not come easy.

“It might sound a bit corny, but it’s been fun coming to work,” he said.

“If I was 17 years old tomorrow and I had the opportunity, I’d do it all again.”

Mr Sneesby’s career in the industry began when he started an apprenticeship with the Northern Rivers County Council in January 1970, on a wage of $40.85 per week.

From there he rose through the ranks from linesman to leading hand, then trainer and ultimately manager.

Over the years, Mr Sneesby said he had worked through floods, bushfires and cyclones, and had witnessed many improvements in the industry.

“There have been improvements in technology over the years that enable us to get the power back on faster when faults occur.

“But the essential nature of the business – the poles and wires – hasn’t changed,” he said.

Mr Sneesby said despite keeping himself busy fishing and visiting family during retirement, he would miss his workmates, but not their practical jokes.

“I’ve found plastic snakes on my chair, dead snakes in my toolbox,” he said.

Mr Sneesby’s job, which involves overseeing the Grafton and Maclean field service centres, and more than 60 employees, has been temporarily filled until a new manager is appointed.



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