Mr Cole has spent 37-and-a-half of those years as part of the furniture at Warnbro Primary School, where he has taught hundreds of children and in more recent years their children too.
Two of his teaching colleagues at the end of his tenure were also former students.
�I would have taught more than a thousand children at Warnbro and I think about 30 of them have been the children of ex-students,� he said.
�I wanted to get out before I was teaching their grandchildren. But some of the people I�ve taught are in their 50s now and it�s extraordinary to think about.
�I still bump into ex-students and it�s nice to see the the lives you�ve touched and they still remember the work you did with them or if you helped them with something, which is amazing.�
Mr Cole said the ever-evolving face of technology was the biggest change to teaching, which in itself remained fundamentally the same now as when he began in 1973.
�When I started we had black-and-white TV and radio, and we had to teach all subjects,� he said.
�The technology available now is crazy; for years if I wanted to make up a worksheet I had to use a gestetner and crank each page individually and it was years before we had photocopiers.�
Despite being retired, Mr Cole could not say no when the chance to fill in at the school came up after just three weeks.