Celebrating 35 Years in Goondiwindi
Chesterfield Australia Celebrates 35 Years in Goondiwindi
Thirty five years ago in an old tin shed in the front yard of McNally and Carrigan (where Woods Stock Feeds offices now stand), Chesterfield Australia Goondiwindi opened its doors for the first time. The business name came from an unlikely source, a packet of cigarettes on the table during a business lunch with founder Anthony (Tony) Pennefather and his right hand men, Mr Duncan and Mr McCormick.
Having two branches in Moree and Dalby already, Tony had the vision that agriculture would grow with the needs of our growing nation. The original Goondiwindi team headed by the late John Cronin (Manager/ Salesman), Bob Pearce (Parts Manager) and two mechanics Robbie Carmichael and Glenn Carr. Roslyn Tribe (or Rozzie as she’s fondly known as) joined the team six months later in October 1983.
“I remember being told early in my career the Goondiwindi Branch was established to fill the gap in the Chesterfield footprint,” said Roslyn Tribe. “This branch was only ever expected to be a small outpost to provide a service to the extremities of the two main branches. The five acre plot of ground, our current location, was purchased and plans were drawn up for a modest building comprising office space for the sales and parts departments and a two bay workshop,” remembered Rozzie.
Another employee, celebrating 32 years with the company this year, Brian Riddle, continued, “When I started as Service Manager, the workshop consisted of four bays however as demand increased, an additional four were added followed by another four. In about 1999, the workshop was separated into two divisions – one for picker and header equipment and the other to service everything else, a sign of the huge growth in agriculture and changes to farming practices in our region.”
Tony Pennefather built his business with faith in the agricultural industry, uncompromising ethical business dealings and strong local involvement. Still family owned, Chesterfield has expanded to 12 branches and over 240 employees in Queensland and New South Wales.
From that humble tin shed where the seed for an ever changing and growing business was planted, you could say ‘green’ really grows from the ground up.