Joe O'Reilly to retire, leaving a grand legacy

Joe O'Reilly to retire, leaving a grand legacy

Sales
RETIRING: BR&C's Joe O'Reilly called his last store sheep sale recently before he retires from the agency business on December 23 after 30 years. Photo supplied.

RETIRING: BR&C's Joe O'Reilly called his last store sheep sale recently before he retires from the agency business on December 23 after 30 years. Photo supplied.

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Swan Hill agent Joe O'Reilly will retire shortly after 30 years in the agency business.

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Joe O'Reilly, the "mister fix it" and "top dog" at the northern Victorian-based agency BR&C, has attended his final store sheep sale before retiring on December 23.

Mr O'Reilly said he was hanging up his boots after 17.5 years at the company and a total of 30 years in the agency business.

Known as the person who was the manager, but without that title, Mr O'Reilly has seen the business grow from a staff of six to 32 currently.

He said he had always said he wanted to retire before he was 50.

He said it had been a great journey but he had "had enough".

"I'm burnt out and we've got some young staff coming through that need to be given a chance", he said.

Mr O'Reilly said he wanted to spend time with his young family.

BR&C's John Sawyer said Mr O'Reilly was a tireless worker with an "unbelievable work ethic".

"He dots the I's and crosses the T's," he said.

"He has been the backbone of the company and made a lot of the major decisions in the branch."

He said he was approached by Mr O'Reilly in 2007 to join BR&C and they had worked together since building the business and "getting the best staff we could".

"He was the overseer, he made sure everything was right," he said.

"He had a big client base as well and was very well-respected by his clients, staff and those around him."

Mr O'Reilly grew up in Watchem helping his father, who was an agent, prepare lambs for sales.

At 17 he started a traineeship with VPC in Swan Hill.

After a stint in the mail room at VPC in Melbourne, he worked in branches including Bendigo, Rochester, Corowa, NSW, Kerang, Donald and Echuca.

In 1996 he moved to Balranald with Elders under Mark Newnham before returning to Swan Hill in 1999.

"In 2002 I left Elders to become a shareholder at BR&C," he said.

"I needed to do that.

"What you put in to the business is what you get out.

"The reason I left Elders was that they gave me a second-hand car."

Apart from Mr Newnham, others to have an influence on his career included Dale Pemberton and Ian Runciman and Malcolm Brady who "gave me a chance".

The biggest change in the business was the advent of mobile phones, he said.

"They are both a revelation and a pain," he said.

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