At the ripe age of 83, Bill Allan is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Don't even mention the word 'retirement', while most people would be counting down the days to retirement, Bill counts down the hours until he can get back to his business.
In fact, one of his favourite sayings is 'don't be glum chum, there is work to come.'
Launceston locals will know Bill and wife Noelene from the days when Allan's Garden Centre was a household name.
At the height of their success, they owned centres in Prospect, Youngtown and Rocherlea and employed more than 60 staff.
In the early days, Bill and Noelene would put in long days together working while raising their family, the kids were very much raised and grew up within the business and spent their childhoods around the nursery.
And later the grandkids did too.
"Noelene was instrumental in all of our success, she has a keen mind for business and has kept everything running behind the scenes as far up to this year," Bill said.
Looking back on the beginning of the business 54 years ago, Bill said it was 'all worth it.'
"My trade originally was as an apprentice butcher, in Georgetown and then I moved to Darwin and managed the butcher shop for the army canteen service," Bill said.
"I moved back to Launceston when my dad took sick, and I got a job at the forestry, I was working outside and loved it, it was much better than the butcher shop.
"Later I got a job at Clarke's Nursery which is defunct now, I worked there for just over six years, and this little old nursery came up for sale, and that is where we started."
I am a firm believer that if you love your job, you won't work a day, I get tremendous enjoyment coming in here and seeing everything come to life.Bill Allan
Over the years as the business grew so did the need for staff, Bill said they had always been lucky with a lot of the staff becoming like their extended family.
"We've had staff stay with us for as long as 30 and in some cases 40 plus years, in reality, we were working for them," he said.
Bill even experienced a taste of fame in the 1970s when he hosted a gardening segment just before the news offering gardening advice from his own backyard, some may say he was the original Peter Cundall.
Bill and Noelene began to phase out the garden centre side of the business six years ago to focus on the nursery, which is now a major supplier to Bunnings and other garden centres across Tasmania.
"It has been hard to keep up with demand, but I still won't let anything leave that isn't good enough for my own garden," Bill said.
"I like to see quality go out, and it is exciting to see the orders being filled and sent out.
"Years ago when we'd grow something that was new or hard to grow, we'd keep it around to show the opposition and wouldn't have thought about selling it, but now you have to grow to sell and to meet demand."
With retirement age long past him, Bill said that his job had kept him young at heart and while continuing to work isn't for everyone when you find something you love that brings you joy it is hard to give up.
"I'll sit down with the wife for a little while, but I'm not going to be retiring, that would be the last straw," he said.
"I am a firm believer that if you love your job, you won't work a day, I get tremendous enjoyment coming in here and seeing everything come to life."
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