Job's right as Fatty and DD call it a day at council depot

WELL-EARNED REST: Retiring Orange City Council workers Dennis Duncan and Verdon Thornberry celebrated their combined 66 years' service yesterday. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI.0307dcretirement1

WELL-EARNED REST: Retiring Orange City Council workers Dennis Duncan and Verdon Thornberry celebrated their combined 66 years' service yesterday. Photo: DANIELLE CETINSKI.0307dcretirement1

TWO of Orange’s longest-serving outdoor workers were farewelled at the Orange City Council depot on Thursday after a combined 66 years of service.

Verdon “Fatty” Thornberry will retire today at the age of 72 after 44 years at the council, while Dennis “DD” Duncan has already finished at 68 after 22 years.

Mr Thornberry started at the council in 1970 after his earlier work at a wool mill became scarce.

During his time at the council, he drove trucks and earthmovers, and most recently drove the 4am street sweeper shift.

“I’ve seen a lot of things,” he said with a laugh.

“Especially with the people coming out of the hotels and the brawls.”

Apart from restoring the body clock to normal hours, Mr Thornberry said he would turn his attention to bowls and other leisurely activities.

“I’ll live life as I’ve always lived it,” he said.

At Thursday’s barbecue, Orange mayor John Davis spoke highly of Mr Thornberry, saying he came from “one of the toughest families in town”.

Mr Duncan worked on the Civic Centre’s construction for a contractor and decided he wanted to stay at council permanently, applying successfully for a position in concrete and drainage in 1992.

“I enjoy outside work and getting around to different places,” he said.

He said his proudest project was the roundabout at the intersection of Hill and Dalton streets.

Mr Duncan’s colleagues presented him with an engraved wooden finishing trowel and he said he would use his extra spare time to focus on golf.

Works manager Wayne Gailey described Mr Duncan as a quiet achiever.

“In quite a physical role, he never shirked his responsibilities - he never compromised on quality or used age as an excuse for not giving his all,” he said.

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