Lismore NRMA Insurance branch lost a living legend last week, when employee Keith Hosking retired after half a century of serving the local community.
Back in the day
Keith started as a newbie on the 22nd Nov 1965 as a junior executive. For the car mad youngster it was the perfect job, because as he explains, " I got paid to talk about cars".
It was also an opportunity for Keith to start a career that has seen him serve three generations of some local families, who according to his manager Tania Cole, would come in and sit and wait just to speak to him.
Keith who was the first NRMA Insurance retail employee of the year when the award was introduced in 1994, has loved the job security that has come with his time with the company.
"In those days, it was good to get into a job and know that you were permanent and lay the foundations for your own family to go to university and do all those things that we never had the chance at," he said. It wasn't always about how much money you got each week, it was being sure of the payroll coming through."
Keith's commitment to giving his family opportunities he didn't have paid off. His daughter Jodie Fox, is the co-founder of international award-winning online company, Shoes Of Prey and says her father's work commitment has been a big inspiration. "I remember him telling me that on his first day at NRMA he was given a tie-pin with a pair of shoes on it, to remind him to always put himself in the customer's shoes."
Big send off
To mark his retirement Keith has enjoyed a series of send off's, including Executive General Manager, Steven Fitzpatrick, taking him out to lunch. So what's next for one of NRMA Insurance's most loyal staff members?
"Working on my new Ford Fairmont GS, and travel in Australia and overseas", he says. Keith also has plans to create a small NRMA Insurance museum at his home. He wants to display his extensive NRMA Insurance memorabilia, which runs to over 400 pieces and includes 50 years of company history including jewellery, umbrellas, badges and more.
In the meantime, he has his Christmas lights and decorations to put up at home in Lismore.