Sunday, April 29, 2012

From battleship to tinny beside the bay

The Rocky Point Sugar Mill gets a mention in this article (image courtesy The Heck Group).

WAY back in the post-war years when Cleveland was "just a sleepy little village", a dairy farming family joined its community to help an elderly couple in need.
John Brownlie Henderson had retired some years earlier from his highly ranked position as Queensland Government Analyst and Chief Inspector of Explosives and was living with his wife Susan in Cross Lane.
When Mr Henderson had health problems, his son and daughter-in-law, Ian and Trixie, decided to move from their Pimpama dairy farm to Cleveland to support the elderly couple.
This meant a big change for Ian and Trixie's children – their son, also named Ian, and their daughter, Sonia.

IAN junior, then about 10 years old, now recalls he was a little nervous on his first day at Cleveland Primary School in 1950 because the town, even with farming right in what is now the CBD, was quite a contrast with Pimpama's vast spread of canefields – supplying the Heck's Rocky Point mill for generations – and the lush green pastures dotted with dairy cattle.
Young Ian later joined the Navy and served as a naval airman until 1961. Most of his service was aboard the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne. He is thankful to have left the Navy before the disaster of 1964 when the Melbourne and the destroyer HMAS Voyager collided off the NSW South Coast.

BY then, Ian was on a new path in life. He had married a Redland-born girl, Florence Stacey, in 1963 and early in the marriage they headed to New Guinea, where Ian managed native co-operatives until the mid-1970s.
The couple returned to live in a new house that they had built on the site of a fibro shack behind his grandparents' retirement home.
Ian worked for many years with the paint company Dulux, then ran his own business selling and servicing airless spray equipment.

IAN and Florence still live the same home. For about 10 years, a classic tinny, a 12ft Clarke, has been parked beside it.
The boat probably won't be there much longer after Ian advertised it for sale – complete with a late model 15hp Mariner outboard, trailer and rego to December – for $3000.
Ian says the tinny has served his family well around the bay; most recently, a grandson has enjoyed loading it with camping gear and heading with his mates to Straddie.
Even though it doesn't have quite the grandeur of a battleship, Ian has made much use of the tinny, too!

Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stop the bickering: teamwork brings success in business

Image courtesy Microsoft

SPOUSES bicker, siblings battle, workmates argue – everyone probably has some sort of relationship problem at some time.
We often forget, however, that our differences are painfully obvious to those 'looking in from the outside' with impartial eyes.
The spouses may divorce, siblings may refuse to speak to each other and workmates may separation. When the warring parties go into business together, the consequences can be costly.

BUSINESS broker Graeme Donaldson often sees dangerous symptoms when buyers are shopping for an enterprise.
He says the internal bickering and friction are among the main reasons some businesses have been on his books as many as half a dozen times during the 14 years that Donaldson Business Brokers has operated in the Redlands.
"I do have to say that some people are not cut out to go into business," Graeme says. "There can be clear signs they are destined not to succeed.
"In one instance two blokes going into a partnership were arguing at our initial meetings. Sure enough, the business was back on the market within 12 months."
Graeme has a special interest in the psychology that underpins business success.

FORMERLY the CEO of companies distributing car, truck, industrial and electrical parts, Graeme studied team psychology at university level.
The training which he undertook when heading a national workforce about 1500 showed the importance of teamwork in any enterprise, Graeme says.
Sydney-born Graeme qualified as an electrical fitter/mechanic and refrigeration engineer – and is proud of having worked on components for the Sydney Opera House in the 1960s before he moved into sales and management.
He says his move into business broking followed his business consultancies. "One of the companies asked me if I could sell it for them, and I did – that's how the brokerage started," he says

GRAEME says he is content to maintain his for-sale listings about 30 businesses: "I would rather provide personalised service than get too many people involved."
Donaldson Business Brokers has been part of the community of classified advertising in the Bayside Bulletin since it started trading, with an invitation to those buying, selling and testing the market.
The firm charges no marketing and advertising costs, relying totally on sales commissions. This means "no sale, no cost".
The current business climate receives a lot of attention from the economic analysts at national and state levels, and 'down on the ground' Graeme says it is the toughest he has seen in four decades.
"A lot of people are in trouble, just hanging in there, and have been for quite some time," he says.
"You only have to look around at the number of shops that have closed."
Graeme acknowledges many Redlanders resist growth of the city but warns that if it doesn't grow the only direction is backwards.

Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This column has appeared in The Redland Times.