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After 40 years, Joe calls it a day at Dyson’s
Working for 40 years at one company is a great achievement by anyone’s standards. For those in the bus industry, working 40 years as a Route Bus Driver is near impossible to comprehend. But for Joe Metelovski, the early mornings, late nights and traffic jams and were all part of a day’s work.
Joe stepped out from behind the wheel earlier this year after a 40-year driving career with the Dyson Group. To put the achievement into perspective, in 1976 Australia had a population of 13.8 million, Malcolm Fraser was Prime Minister and Evonne Goolagong Cawley won the Women’s title at the Australian Open.
Arriving from Macedonia in 1963, Joe worked a number of jobs during his first 13 years in Australia.
Like many of the European migrants arriving in Australia at that time, he started work as a Factory Hand, before getting behind the wheel of a truck in 1967. Joe first ventured into the bus industry in 1968, working as a bus driver for Moreland Bus Company. After 6.5 years at Moreland, a short trip overseas and an eight-month stint putting bottle caps on bottles of Crown Lager at CUB – a job he loved – Joe arrived at Dyson’s. He never left.
Joe puts his longevity at Dyson’s down to the good people, family values and sense of community and support at the company.
“The people at Dyson’s have always been supportive of my work and personal requirements,” Joe recalls
“When the kids were very young, my wife was quite sick. (Being) in and out of hospital meant that I needed to run around looking after the kids and their schooling needs as well as juggling medical needs for my then wife. I was open with Dyson’s and they fully understood and supported whatever I needed at that time, even if that meant extra time off. For this I am very grateful.”
When it came to his colleagues, it was the easy-natured and diverse community of drivers that Joe enjoyed about his job.
“Overall, the multicultural aspect of the drivers made it interesting to learn about different people’s backgrounds,”
“I found that the drivers who just wanted to do an honest day’s work and have fun during off times -like having a nice, cold VB straight out the bottle - is what I liked at Dyson’s, where it wasn’t all about work.”
Today, the Dyson Group has more than 400 buses in its fleet and 700+ employees. When Joe first arrived at LC Dyson’s Bus Service, as it was known back then, they owned a fleet of 26 buses and employed 50 people. Moving through three depots and working through a transition from small family business to large family business, Joe’s professionalism, loyalty and strong work ethic helped the Dyson Group to be what it is today.
Dyson Group’s Joint Managing Director, Shane Dyson is the only family member currently in the business to have worked with Joe from his first day to his last.
“From day one, Joe was willing to do anything for the company,” Dyson says.
“Even though his English wasn’t the best, it didn’t stop him from being a team member that got on with his workmates and the passengers he drove.”
“He will go down as a very reliable hard working company man, and I wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Regularly working in excess of 50 hours a week for more than 40 years, Joe kept his list pretty short when asked what he would do with his spare time.
“First, staying in my pyjamas for as long as possible each morning. Second, make sure my dog and I have breakfast and then take my dog for its walk - of course I’ll ask my wife if she wants to come. Third, have a nap after a hard morning,” Joe jokes.
“Apart from this, I think I will enjoy spending much time in the garden, maybe going to Macedonian group clubs, pay the occasional visit at the Plough Hotel in Mill Park and planning for a trip overseas in 2017. Another thing I am looking forward to is to gain a fresh experience in accessing pensioner discounts with my new pensioner concession card.”