Last-minute call-up marks start of plasterer’s long career

Stock image.
Stock image.

WHEN Thornlie plasterer Victor Lukehurst received an impromptu request to help out on a Dale Alcock building site in the early 1990s, it proved to be the start of a working relationship spanning almost 30 years.

Over the decades, Mr Lukehurst has worked from one end of the metro area to the other on new builds and renovations for the builder, trained several apprentices and even taken to the catwalk as part of last year’s inaugural Steeltoes and Stilettos fundraising event.

The event raised more than $28,000 for Reflections, a not-for-profit focused on reducing the impact of asbestos on the community.

Vic at work, with grandson Oscar looking on.

“I’ve been with Dale Alcock Homes almost since he started the company about 30 years ago,” said Mr Lukehurst, who did his apprenticeship as a 15-year-old with his dad and uncle, both plasterers.

After almost five decades as a plasterer, Mr Lukehurst is now semi-retired, working as part of the Dale Alcock maintenance team.

“I’ve got to be doing something,” the 65-year-old grandfather said.

“Now, instead of plastering, I’m going out to new houses to make sure they’re in top condition ready for handover.

“I’ve always enjoyed being my own boss, even though you’re not really because you’re answering to the supervisor, and I never had any qualms about going to work; I just liked it.

“I guess manual labour is my forte.

“I take pride in being reliable and on time.

“I used to tell the boys who worked for me to finish the job when you say you’re going to finish it because the supervisor has all the next trades lined up.”

Mr Lukehurst still clearly remembers the day he started his plastering business in the early ’70s when jobs were primarily advertised in the local newspaper.

“I rang the supervisor whose number was in the ad and he told me to turn up at such-and-such job,” he said.

“We worked til morning tea and then the supervisor rocked up, had a look at what we’d done and then gave me list of another five jobs. I nearly had a heart attack. I was 24 and very green.”

Mr Lukehurst has seen plenty of changes over the 50 years since, from the feature arches that were popular back in the day, to the high ceilings and big spaces that characterise today’s Dale Alcock designs.

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