Ted Janczak retirement

Media release issued Thursday 30 June 2011


There is a piece of history located beneath Pevensey Street, Geelong.

The water main buried under the road was the first pipe laid by young Ted Janczak when he began work with the Geelong Waterworks and Sewerage Trust in 1963.

On Friday, Ted retires after 48 years with the corporation, making him one of Barwon Water's longest serving employees.
He started as a labourer in June, 1963, working alongside his father on a construction crew responsible for water main extensions and replacements.

When his father retired, Ted took over as leading hand on the work gangs. Most recently, he has been a field maintenance worker based at Barwon Water's South Geelong depot, sharing an encyclopaedic knowledge of the water system around Geelong.

Ted remembers the early days being "hard yakka" and says things have changed significantly over the years.

"My father started laying water pipes when he came out to Australia after World War II; they were pick and shovel days," Ted said.

"The job's not what it once was; it has changed a hell of a lot. We are using different equipment, different materials... it makes the job easier and things have become better and better," he said.

Ted cites safety improvements as one of the biggest changes he has witnessed and says iCatch, a Barwon Water program that encourages employee innovation, has continued to improve work practices.

Despite the big 5-0 being just over the horizon, Ted has decided that at the age of 65 he has "had enough".

"I started out at a young age wanting to achieve something. It has been a good journey," he said.