No room for boredom in 70-year career of West Perth accountant

Major Holdings board member Joe Clark and managing director Grant Young still work together after Mr Clark celebrated 70 years at the West Perth company this month. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Major Holdings board member Joe Clark and managing director Grant Young still work together after Mr Clark celebrated 70 years at the West Perth company this month. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

A VIBRANT brain and body and being close to youth are essential to the 70-year working life of Joe Clark (88).

Mr Clark celebrated seven decades with West Perth company Major Holdings and its associated motor dealerships on March 12.

“I keep the brain active, swim and exercise three times a week, and keep involved with people, particularly the young,” Mr Clark said.

He works a day each week on the company’s board and another doing correspondence with his wife of 46 years Deanna at his Helena Valley home.

“All the people I work with are at least 10 years younger than me and they don’t make me feel my age,” Mr Clark said.

He started as an 18-year-old an assistant cashier earning 4 a week with the company’s predecessor Attwood Motors, after returning to WA from Britain in 1949.

“I gave everything to my mother, and she gave me back 10 shillings,” Mr Clark said.

Early working life was different.

“We were far more disciplined in those days because when the boss said do something you did it as it was always in the back of your mind that you could lose your job,” Mr Clark said.

Subsequent roles trained him as an accountant, qualified him as a company secretary and he managed development of the company’s land holdings from the 1960s.

He retired in 1990, but after a three-month break to travel he rejoined the board.

He continues his own hobbies including memberships of the WA Wood Turning Association and Philatelic Society of WA.

“It is possibly almost unheard of these days of an employee or official to remain with the same organisation for 70 years,” Major Holdings managing director Grant Young said.

Mr Young said Mr Clark’s experience as an “old-school” employee was invaluable.

“People like him as he is capable, reliable, a trained accountant and good at managing property, and he leads by example, being hard working and committed,” he said.