Welding Well into Retirement

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90 may just be time to ease up

Don Farmer | 10th September 2009
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Jack Hayes,90, has closed up his engineer’s shop but intends to keep “ buggering about” because sitting down and doing nothing is not an option.
After a lifetime of making and fixing things Greytown engineer Jack Hayes has finally hung up his welding gear.
The 90 year old whose exploits with a welding torch and a spanner are legend in South Wairarapa has flagged away taking on jobs for customers but he won’t be sitting idle.
“I’ll keep buggering about but I won’t be taking on any engineering work.”
For all his successes- that include transforming the fishing industry at Ngawi by vastly improving the mechanics of launching and retrieving vessels from the bay – Jack reckons his proudest achievement was not making anything of steel.
“It was making my eight kids, they are my proudest achievement.”
Jack was born in Eketahuna but moved to Carterton when he was three where his father George took on dairy farming.
He went to Carterton School leaving at 14 to work on the farm for a year before being employed by another dairy farmer.
Jack may have missed out on a formal college education but he went through the ” college of hard knocks” and came out a better person for it.
He married Norma in 1940 and served in the army during World War 2 but couldn’t go overseas due to a childhood accident.
“I fell off a pony when I was six and put my arm down to cushion the fall.
“The arm was broken and it set crooked.”

How old is too young to retire?  Fifty?  Sixty?  How about eight-nine?
For Jack Hayes, it certainly was, because this year, he is an even 90 and just beginning the transition from full-time welder into part-time “buggering about.”  I guess when you love your job, it’s not “work!”

90 may just be time to ease up

Don Farmer | 10th September 2009

After a lifetime of making and fixing things Greytown engineer Jack Hayes has finally hung up his welding gear.

90The 90 year old whose exploits with a welding torch and a spanner are legend in South Wairarapa has flagged away taking on jobs for customers but he won’t be sitting idle.

“I’ll keep buggering about but I won’t be taking on any engineering work.”

For all his successes- that include transforming the fishing industry at Ngawi by vastly improving the mechanics of launching and retrieving vessels from the bay – Jack reckons his proudest achievement was not making anything of steel.

“It was making my eight kids, they are my proudest achievement.”

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