Not many people can tick off five decades at a company these days, let alone be commemorated in the way that Len ‘Squatter’ Coffey has at GrainCorp.
Half a century has passed – to the day – since a young Squatter set foot on GrainCorp’s site at Beulah, in Victoria.
Described by colleagues as ‘the most loyal and diligent employee’ and ‘a great team worker’, Squatter has worked on every GrainCorp site across the Wimmera and the Mallee, been in every silo, as well as watched many of them being built.
The local legend’s status was cemented in 2017, when his image was immortalised in a mural by artist Kaffeine on the GrainCorp silos at Rosebery, in Victoria.
He is pictured in a gentle moment with his beloved horse Morton, which has become part of the famous Australian Silo Art Trail.
He says his favourite memories of his time at GrainCorp centre on the mateship he experienced with his colleagues.
“I’ve always had great mates working around me; every day was an adventure!
“I’ve trained a lot of young harvest casuals and kids in the district, many who came from local farms, and have made great friends at GrainCorp and in the farming community alike.”
The local legend from Birchip, in Victoria, grew up in a large, horse-loving family and runs a successful bush trail ride business in the Mallee.
“I trained racehorses for 20 years, alongside my work at GrainCorp,” Squatter says.
“I’ve had people from all walks of life come through the business, all visiting me thanks to word of mouth.
“I’m now going to be focusing more on my bush trail rides, expanding them to include weekly excursions.
“I will miss the harvest, miss the work but I’m looking forward to this next adventure.”Len ‘Squatter’ Coffey
Beulah Site Manager Jeff Thewlis says no task was ever too great for the man he has known his entire life.
“He actually worked with my Old Man so that’s pretty special, and he’s always been willing to share his experiences, knowledge and a laugh,” Jeff says.
“He has a better understanding of the silos than anyone, knowledge that will be sadly missed but hopefully not lost!”
Congratulations on 50 years, Squatter, and best wishes for a happy retirement!