ROAD-building might seem like serious business, but for Graham Whiting it was a colourful working environment.
Mr Whiting received an outstanding service award from Cabonne Council for 46 years of "dedicated and loyal service" from 1972 until his retirement in August.
Back then the area was the Molong Shire and he started as a labourer.
"Kerb and gutter, footpaths were all by hand - pick and shovel, wheelbarrow, and we mixed soil and concrete all by hand," he said.
He repaired potholes for two years with colleagues Terry Brown and Terry Dover, who mayor Kevin Beatty described as "three wild boys".
Cr Beatty told the chamber about one occasion when Mr Whiting told one of them to get out of the truck because the overseer would not be happy with their work.
"Terry jumped out of the truck to hang one on Graham but missed him and slipped over the steep bank and nearly knocked himself out," he said.
"They spent the next hour explaining [to the overseer] what happened to Terry."
Cr Beatty said on another occasion, the crew had to drain and clean the trailer containing the tar.
He said it was Terry Brown's turn to slide under the trailer to undo the pump plug and Mr Whiting suggested he and Mr Dover could grab him by the belt and pull him out.
"Terry had it on its final thread and said, 'now' and they reefed on Terry's belt and the only thing that came out was the belt," he said.
"Terry was covered in tar and not very happy."
From there, Mr Whiting moved to the quarry as a supervisor for five years before he became a grading operator - on one occasion, wanting to try out a scraper, he managed to convince Mr Dover to swap machines.
"Graham didn't know anything about scrapers and set off down the steep hill breaking up the rocks," Cr Beatty said.
"It was going back and forth at a rapid pace - he got frightened so he jumped out of the scraper and it careered down the hill and all the boys' lunch [fell] out."
Mr Whiting became a site supervisor in 1996 before becoming the northern area overseer in 2001 and Cr Beatty spoke highly of Mr Whiting's capacity in the job.
"He had excellent knowledge in road building and his impressive plan reading and calculations were second to none," he said.
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