Elders past staff share festive cheer

By Wendy Gould
December 9 2021 - 10:00am
Elders staff in attendance included administration officer to State general manager Riley Jones (left), with EPEA chairman Garry Dunstan, State marketing business partner Tatum Patteson and State general manager WA Nick Fazekas.

AFTER a two-year break, the Elders Past Employees Association (EPEA) returned to its old stomping ground at RAAFA Club, Bull Creek, for its annual Christmas lunch on Monday.

A total of 71 former staff members, including several new members of the EPEA, made the journey from across the State to share a bit of festive season cheer with former colleagues.

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The smiles on their faces and animated conversations reflected their joy in reliving old times, sharing updates on family members and compatriots unable to make Monday's event and also putting their spin on current day events.

Members of the Elders team in attendance as special guests were State general manager WA and EPEA patron Nick Fazekas, State livestock and wool manager and EPEA vice-patron Dean Hubbard, State marketing business partner Tatum Patteson and administration officer to State general manager Riley Jones.

EPEA chairman Garry Dunstan said Elders continued to provide considerable support, both financial and in kind, for EPEA events for which his members were extremely grateful.

Many in the room wished they were still in the industry when Mr Fazekas gave an update on the 182-year-old company's activities in the past 12 months, especially in light of the outstanding livestock, grain, real estate and other commodity prices coupled with low interest rates which is "assisting with greater profitability for growers".

Mark Pickerill (left), Como, new member John Matthews, North Perth and Terry Hannagan, Alfred Cove, relished the chance to speak with Elders State livestock and wool manager Dean Hubbard.

"You will have seen our end of financial year results posted recently ($151.1 million net profit after tax, up 40 per cent, for the year ended September 30)," Mr Fazekas said.

"Two measures we use internally are EBIT - which was up 38pc - and ROC (return on capital) achieving 22.5pc.

"Our share price is currently $11.20, which is up about $1 on this time last year and we paid a dividend of 42 cents.

"Elders is again rated the number one most trusted agricultural brand in Australia and you have all been part of our growth and this brand history.

"Through growth and acquisition we have more than 3000 properties under management in our real estate business, which continue to earn irrespective of weather events such as drought, fire and flood.

"With regards to staffing we employ 340 people based at 45 locations across the State and are in the process of putting on nine trainees, three in agronomy, three in livestock and three in merchandise, to get more feet on farms and assist with serving our clients' needs.

"There are a few potential acquisitions we are looking at and we are set to open a new stand-alone branch at Muchea in February, so our future plans are positive," Mr Fazekas.

Farm Weekly general manager Trevor Emery (left), shared a joke with fellow EPEA members Barry Court, City Beach and Kevin Kerr, Bull Creek.
Graeme Cross (left), Kalamunda, with new member Henk de Vos, Bedford and Mal and Gloria Virgo, Scarborough.
Ready for lunch were Ted Parker (left), Madeley, Kevin Richards, Mandurah and Roy Dunn, Shoalwater.
Doug Cross (left), Swanbourne, Neville Kinnane, Winthrop, Terry Gilchrist, Mandurah and EPEA guest Ian White at the entrance to the RAAFA Club, Bull Creek function centre.
Former livestock and wool team members at the EPEA Christmas lunch included Archie Graham (left), Kalamunda, Ken Walker, Booragoon and Orest Luzny, Manjimup.

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Marie (left) and Peter Pimley, Menora, sat at the same table as Valerie McIntosh, Yangebup.
Lorraine Keenan (left), Greenwood, Kaye Scott, South Lake and Dawn Houston, Ardross, added a touch of colour.
Recounting their escapades working as trainee stockies at Midland Saleyards in 1962-63 were Roger Patek (left), Mandurah, Graham Bishop, Coogee, John Rickard, Jandakot, Doug Cross, Swanbourne and Bob Hart, Halls Head.
Brightening up the day were EPEA committee member Lorraine Symington (left), Willetton and Sue Gurney, Bennett Springs, who helps put the EPEA newsletters together.
Reliving some of their livestock days were Bruce McCosh (left), Mt Pleasant, Rusty Miller, Harvey, Bob Hart, Halls Head and Mel Morris, Karrinyup.
Enjoying catching up were Wayne Morgan (left), Falcon, Steve Graham, Dunsborough, David McManus, Canningvale and Pat Boyle, Claremont.

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Elders past staff share festive cheer
Trevor Ross (left), Kalamunda, chatted with Graham Bishop, Coogee, Vern Winter, Riverton, Richard Gapper, Attadale and Jon Meakins, Sorrento.
Catching up before lunch were Roger Patek (left), Mandurah, John Rickard, Jandakot, Richard Depiazz, Warwick and Kerry Easton, Geraldton.
Some of the stalwarts of the EPEA organisation included Lynton Symington (left), Willetton and Bob Peake, Attwell, with its oldest member, 102-year-old Gordon Briglin, Greenmount and his daughter Lin Robins, Gooseberry Hill.

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