Feature

Panel beater has worked on Rolls Royce, artificial limb

Panel beater Ray Bottcher has been working at his craft for over 50 years, same job, same location.
Panel beater Ray Bottcher has been working at his craft for over 50 years, same job, same location. Robyne Cuerel

FROM vintage cars to artificial limbs, panel beater Ray Bottcher has worked on almost everything metallic in the 50 years since his first day on the job.

The Maryborough man started his apprenticeship with Ken Yates Panel Repairs as a 15-year-old on January 20, 1964.

A half a century later he's still there - but now Ken Yates Panel Repairs belongs to him.

Ray credited his longevity in the job to getting a fair day's pay for a fair day's work.

"In my day if you got a job in a trade you stayed in that job without chopping and changing," Ray said.

"I was apprenticed as a coach and motor painter but I learned both trades, the panel beating trade and the painting trade.

"It feels like a bit of an achievement, and I'd like to retire - but I think I'll be working another couple of years, at least part-time."

Ray said in that 50 years he had worked on countless vehicles, including Rolls Royces and vintage vehicles and even on an artificial limb.

"I was still an apprentice at the time and I walked in one morning and there was this artificial leg in the workshop.

"I was taken aback a little bit because I had to do some repair on it. But at least it was metal," he laughed.

Married to Lyn, the couple have three sons and five grandchildren.

Ray said he didn't want any of his sons to follow in his footsteps.

"There are a lot of better things a person can do.

"It is a dirty, unhealthy job - and not a high paying job at that - but I wouldn't change a thing."

Topics:  maryborough, rolls royce, vintage cars




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Kodi McConnell the Fraser Coast’s first Storm prospect

Tye Ingebrigtsen (back) and Kodi McConnell (front). McConnell is the first Fraser Coast Falcons Academy player to earn a spot in Melbourne Storm's Sunshine Coast-based academy. Ingebrigtsen is a driving force behind the project.Photo Matthew McInerney / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Kodi McConnell will join the Storm's Sunshine Coast academy.

Mum, 20, goes on hospital rampage

court generic

The women kicked, punched, bit and spat on health workers.

YOUR PHOTOS: Stunning Fraser Coast alive with colour

Riding at sunset on Dundowran Beach

The stunning sunsets of Autumn showcase our skies at their best.

Latest deals and offers

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago