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On 3 July 1973 a 16 year old Graham McGuire joined Bedford right out of school… and that means today marks the astonishing achievement of a 50th work anniversary for Graham!

Naturally there was celebratory cake, friends, and a speech by PTO, Anthony Exton. Anthony describes Graham as a ‘true gentleman’, and “… the most kind-hearted, lovely man I’ve ever met who’s always prepared to help. He’s been an asset to this place for the last fifty years - and I think he still wants to stay for a little bit longer!”

Graham is clearly well regarded by his managers and peers, and we asked him how he has had such a long and successful career at Bedford.

Graham said he got off on the right foot ‘right from the start’ with the support of one of his very first managers, Ilva Simons (who has long since left Bedford.) She started him in office work in Production Control and trained him in purchasing and filing.

When asked the secret to a successful work life Graham had some advice; “…just get on with the work, get stuck into it.”

Over the years Graham has tried out a wide variety of jobs at Bedford, including Manufacturing, and Packaging, but he always returns to office work which he finds the most rewarding.

Graham recalls a particularly memorable month back in 1985 when he did a work experience trial at SAJC (South Australian Jockey Club) in their offices. “I just enjoyed it so much, and the team there couldn’t be any nicer.”

Graham has made life-long friends at Bedford, too many to name, but he singles out Harvey in Packaging in particular. Harvey is not just Graham’s best mate – he is someone who made a significant difference to Graham’s life by being in the right place at the right time.

Harvey used to pick Graham up and drive him to and from work, and one fateful day Graham’s brother had a health emergency. Harvey was on hand and able to drive him to the hospital immediately and Graham says the doctors’ credit his survival to the early medical attention he received – thanks to Harvey!

We asked Graham, now 66, whether he was thinking of retiring soon. He says that he would like to stay on because “Bedford’s been good to me”, however he is having a few issues with his leg, which may need surgery – and then a lot of rest.

And that will be a very well-earned rest indeed! But until then, congratulations and thankyou for your marvellous 50 years of excellence Graham!