Council farewells longest-serving employee after 49 years

Date published: 29 August 2022

Today marks the first week in 49 years that Townsville local Sam Venitis hasn’t rolled out of bed, pulled on his uniform and headed to work at Council.

The plumbing inspector was Council’s longest-standing employee. He hung up his boots at the end of last week, marking close to 50 years on the job as a Townsville City Council crew member.

Mayor Jenny Hill said Sam showed a remarkable commitment to his work at Council.

“Sam started with Council in 1973 as an apprentice plumber and has made a great career in serving our city and helping it to grow,” Cr Hill said.

“During his almost 50 years of service, he has held several positions, including leading hand plumber, foreman, acting plumbing inspector, plumbing inspector and senior plumbing inspector.

“Sam has also been a great role model for all the employees who have worked with him and under him.

“Fifty years is a long time in one job, and I am sure Sam’s looking forward to some rest and relaxation in retirement. Congratulations on a great career Sam.”

Council chief executive Prins Ralston said a lot had changed in Townsville since Sam originally joined Council.

“When Sam joined our team as an apprentice in 1973, the Ross River was still a year away from having its dam built,” Dr Ralston said.

“In Sam’s time at Council, Townsville changed immeasurably. The Civic Theatre, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery and Reef HQ were opened to the public during this time.

“Townsville gained two sports teams: the Townsville Crocs and the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys. We survived the Night of Noah and the 2019 monsoon event.

“Sam, thank you for your 49 years of service, and congratulations on your retirement. It’s certainly well deserved.”