News & Insights
Pat retires after 35 years.
Today we officially farewell Pat Barry at the Carrington Branch of Custom Fluidpower as he retires after 35 years with the business.
Pat has been with Custom Fluidpower in its various forms for the last 35 years and is our Sun Hydraulics specialist. He will take a myriad of knowledge and history with him when he goes.
Born and Bred in Newcastle, Pat grew up in Cooks Hill with his eight brothers and sisters in a two-bedroom house that had a wide hallway with two bunk beds for his sisters. The house was in Bruce Street near the Cricketers Arms Hotel, and he remembers there were only four cars in his street. When Pat was about sixteen, the family moved to Mayfield to a great big house that was one of the first built in the new suburb.
His very first job was at Repco as a messenger boy. Six months later he was offered a job at Deloraine Motors in Mayfield and then he went to their new dealership in Parry Street Newcastle. Here he sold British Motor Car (BMC) and Chrysler parts and managed the store.
During his time here he was called up to the Army and spent two years based in Victoria. When he came back, he then went to Hobart where he quickly got work with a dealership that sold BMC parts. He found Hobart to be too cold and came home to Newcastle, but he made one last move to WA for a year working at a Chrysler and Rootes dealership. He enjoyed the work, but he did not enjoy it as much as Newcastle and came home and stayed this time.
In 1975 he was offered a job with Hunter Hydraulics because of his meticulous attention to the spare parts store at Deloraine. In 1978 the business secured a distributorship with SUN Hydraulics, and Pat was the first person in Australia to place an order with the American company.
He recalls that he had an order book that he would write the part numbers in and fax the order through. There were no computers but after the order book was a telex machine used to send through the orders.
Pat was very systematic with his store and had the parts in alphabetic and numerical order. He was well known for his knowledge and ability to find the parts to solve his customer’s problems.
In 1985 Pat started with Custom Hydraulics which became Custom Fluidpower in 2000. It is here he stayed for 35 years. He learnt as he went and quickly understood the products. He saw so much change in technology even in the SUN hydraulics products. Now there is a lot of electronics that make the products more complex yet much simpler.
During his thirties, Pat cared for his mother until she went into a nursing home. At this point, he moved into a flat with a friend. Pat married at 44 to his wife who had two children from a previous marriage. They had two daughters together, and when he starts to talk about them, the pride creeps onto his face. In the last six years, he and his wife have raised their granddaughter, and she will play a starring role in his retirement.
Pat collects model cars and has 12 cabinets of them on display. In his home, he has a built-in wardrobe full of boxes that hold thousands of model cars yet to be displayed. He also has a love for trains and is considering building a miniature town with his granddaughter to see them come to life.
We wish Pat a long, healthy and happy retirement. He will be missed around the office.