53 Years of Service: Robbie Williams Story
Mr Robbie Williams recently celebrates his retirement and commemoration of 53 years’ service with Hitachi Construction Machinery and associated companies
Only a distinguished few can say they’ve seen half a century with an organisation, but despite the odds Robbie committed the majority of his working life to serve the construction and mining machinery industry. Born in England and starting out with Blackwood Limited, as a Plant Mechanic apprentice he served a five year apprenticeship working across fields such as chassis, welding, fuel pump, engine, electrical and transmission bay. He specialised in Allison transmission overhauls, carrying out the first 8000 series overhaul in the United Kingdom.
Robbie’s move to Australia in 1970, provided him with work opportunities at locations such as Kakadu, Groote, Melville Island, Gove and Alice Springs just to name a few. He also looked after the Western Australia Kimberly District where he spent many months at the Ord River project. Notably, he witnessed the largest non-atomic blast where the material was eventually used for the wall.
Robbie continued onto Goldsworthy, which was one of the first Iron Ore Mines in the country. His career then took off in the pacific, where he started in Lae in September 1973 working on Terex TS14 Allison transmissions and landing barge engines, Twin Grey Marine with Twin disc gearboxes. After six months he was promoted to leading hand and then Foreman after twelve months. Two years later, he was promoted to service manager and in 1980 to the position of Lae Branch Manager.
“I travelled extensively throughout PNG, all the outlying islands including Bougainville. Never once did the natives cause me any trouble. I also spent time in the Solomon Island’s (Santa Cruz), where I stayed in PNG for approximately nine years. Blackwood Hodge decided to close the PNG operations in 1982. Fortunately for me, I was appointed Branch Manager of Muswellbrook,” said Robbie during his recent retirement speech at the Hitachi Perth branch.
Throughout his career, he also assisted the Revesby branch operation’s as Customer Service Manager during 1988 - 1992 before returning to Muswellbrook again in 1992 when the mining industry started a growth phase. At this time HCA had also acquired the Letourneau franchise. In January 2004, David Harvey appointed Robbie as the Operations Manager for Perth Branch and then to the position of General Manager-Western Region with over 200 staff members under his wing. A truly impressive career working in five different countries, almost every state in Australia and more than eleven company cars!
Robbie’s last words at HCA:
“In my 53 years with the company, Perth has been the longest that I have stayed at, a total of 13 years. I wouldn’t say that it’s been the easiest of all the jobs but it has been the most enjoyable and just as challenging. I have met and made great friends with Eric, Tony, Doug and Peter to name a few.
During my time with the company, there have been approximately 17 major franchises, Hitachi, Bell, John Deere, Euclid, Marion, Gradall, Terex, Massey Ferguson, P&H, Tadano, Dickinson, Kobelco, DremCo, LeTourneau, Dynapac, Cummins and JCB.
I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank David, Charles, Kitai, Ray and Gil and my management team for their support, I’m particularly grateful to David Harvey who has been instrumental in my progression for many years.
Now that the next stage of my life is upon me, which I’m sure will be a major change. I’m looking forward to be spending more time with my beautiful wife Margaret and hopefully putting back into the community. I have more than a couple of projects underway, which I’m sure will keep me busy and out of trouble.”
Robbie William’s warm retirement farewell was recently celebrated with staff at the HCA Perth facility, his loyalty to HCA and the people who surrounded him is not a only a credit to his family but the boy who left England all those years ago.
HCA wishes Robbie and his wife Margaret the best of luck for their well-earned next chapter together.