When Laurie Godden first arrived in Narrabri, it was to retire after a long career in the motor vehicle industry.
He finally will get to achieve that at the end of this month, but not before more than a decade at the helm of a Narrabri success story as dealer principal of Kaputar Motor Group..
Health and age have led Mr Godden to that decision, and this week he reflected on what has been a hugely successful journey in the North West.
“I started with the Ford Motor Company when I was 17,” he said.
“I came to Narrabri to retire as a farmer and I did that.
“After a few years Ford rang me up and offered me a dealership.”
That was in 2006 and Mr Godden, who had been at Lake Ford at Newcastle in his previous motor industry career, brought three other Novocastrians to start the business in a then-empty Caroline Way with him.
Two, head mechanic Norm Hinton and service manager Carl Hinton, are still with the business, while Bob Albin retired after being general manager of Kaputar Holden.
“We opened on a Saturday in October 2006 with eight cars and we sold five that weekend, “ Mr Godden said.
“So we know we picked the right spot.”
The four initial staff have now expanded to 22 full-timers.
Mr Godden was keen to emphasise his retirement would not affect any of their jobs.