Chris Rance with his workmates in the Carterton District Council parks and reserves team on his last day of work on Friday. PHOTO/STEVE RENDLE
Chris Rance is hanging up his gardening gloves after almost three decades of helping keep Carterton beautiful.
A member of the Carterton District Council parks and reserves team he is retiring after a working life which has seen him involved in many projects which have changed the face of the town.
“The job just suited me,” he said. “There is so much change happening, the variety of the work is amazing.”
In his early days, Chris was involved in maintaining pensioner flats in four different parts of town.
While maintenance was the role, he also helped many of the residents with daily tasks.
“I got to know a lot of people very well and it was so satisfying.”
The self-professed sports fan also helped run the Carterton Cricket Club in its heyday — a job which provided opportunities for his budding cricketer son and now Black Cap, Seth Rance, to help maintain the pitch.
“Funnily enough, I used to drag him out there and he would help roll the wickets for me.”
Over the years he’s received much feedback, both good and bad, but has always retained enjoyment through gardening the town’s flowerbeds and mowing the fields.
He was especially proud of the recently completed “Bird Park” between Charles St and Frederick St, something he hoped the kids in the area would enjoy.
Parks and Reserves manager, Clinton Thompson, started at the council the same year as Chris and said his departure would leave a huge gap in the team.
“Chris had a passion for his work and he acquired a huge skill set over the years,” Thompson said.
“He makes my job easy because I’ve relied on him all this time.
“He is well-respected, well-loved, highly valued and has contributed a lot to the council and the town.”
Chris’ contribution was acknowledged at a low-key “smoko” with his colleagues yesterday and he was given the ‘30 years of service’ gift on behalf of council, despite being six months short of qualifying.
Thompson said it was important Chris was recognised for his contribution with the gift, even though he wanted to slip into retirement unnoticed.
As for the new retiree, he wasn’t sure what he would be doing next but said his love of fishing and his four grandchildren would influence any decision.
“If I could combine the two, that would be ideal.”