Milestones for Southland accountants
There was no shortage of experience on hand at a chartered accountants members lunch in Invercargill on Friday.
Held by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the event honoured Southland members achieving 25, 50, and 60 years of experience.
While five members were up to receive milestone awards this year, another group in attendance had an impressive record of their own – amassing nearly 500 years of experience between just seven people.
Allan Baxter, Ivan Elder (who was a late withdrawal from the event), Michael Fenton, William Fieldes, Mervyn Gillick, Maurice White, and Neil Wyeth were able to amass 432 combined years of membership.
Of the seven, 95-year-old Mervyn Gillick was the oldest one in attendance, who started his accounting career as a 19-year-old in 1941 in Dunedin (becoming a chartered accountant in 1945).
Gillick, who retired from practice in 1989, said he had seen a great deal of change from the beginning of his career.
"It's good for everybody now, the way people can get quicker information...there were no computers in those days when I started, and most firms kept their financial records in cash books.
"I'm not too good on the computers, but my great-grandson knows how to operate them.
"I still keep a cash book and file my own tax returns, but that's about it."
South Island Chartered Accountants ANZ regional manager Colin McDougal said he was amazed by the longevity of the Southland members.
"As far as I know there's nothing like it anywhere in New Zealand.
"I don't know if it's natural selection, the Southland air, partiality for Bluff oysters.
"But they are a great bunch of people and it was an honour to have them here at this year's members festival."
Other members receiving awards included Ian Harrington, Julie Moynihan and Lynley Thomson (25 years); Kenneth Connell (50 years) and Lyndsay McDonald (60 years).