Hawkesbury District Independent June 2017 #85 - Page 14

local life From flipping burgers to 40 years By Greg Martin “I started off a newsboy on a paper For a time I worked an elevator But all the time I knew that later I would be a higher rater Finally, a big time operator.” One of my favourite songs from the Golden Age of music - the 60’s - was Jeff St John and the Id’s rendition of Big Time Operator. I liked it primarily for two reasons - it was a great song and I had begun my working career as a copyboy on the (Daily Mirror) paper. Not in my wildest imagination would I say I progressed to becoming a big-time operator but Ian Garton did after kicking off his working life doing those myriad of chores young people do at McDonald's franchises. Ian laughed when I described him as being tabbed a big time operator but in the World of McDonald’s he is certainly regarded as such. Ian started out as a hamburger flipper- cum-milkshake maker at the Merrylands McDonald’s while a 15-year-old attending Holroyd High. “I worked there part-time for three years - right through high school and for the short time I spent at NSW Uni before opting to forge a career with McDonald’s,” Ian said. In 1980, he commenced a manager traineeship and over the ensuring years rose to become a restaurant manager (Yagoona), a supervisor at Maccas head 14 ISSUE 85 // JUNE 2017 office and for seven years until 1998 he was the franchise consultant, acting as a liaison between franchisees and head office. “Later that year I took over the franchise of the High Street, Penrith outlet and gradually down the years Kathryn and I built up our franchises and we now operate nine outlets – Bligh Park, Richmond and Windsor and over in the Nepean, Penrith, Penrith Plaza II, Werrington, Penrith Leagues, Glenmore Park and St Mary’s Village.” They employ over 1000 people and are the largest employers of trainees in Certificate III in Retail in NSW! To say Ian has made a success of his time with McDonald’s is to say Ray Kroc was good at marketing! Last month Ian was honoured by McDonald’s for 40 years of service and for the fact that he is an extraordinary example of the career opportunities available for young folk working under the Golden Arches. Over the years, the Gartons have supported local communities through providing employment opportunities, career pathways and local sponsorships of sporting and community groups including the Windsor Wolves, Hawkesbury Saints, Glenmore Park Brumbies, Emu Plains Glenmore Park Lions and more than 30 other groups. They are also proud supporters of local charities and fundraisers, including Ronald McDonald House Westmead, the Luke Priddis Centre for Autism and Panthers on the Prowl. “I suppose one of our proudest moments was supporting the construction in 2013 of the Nepean Hospital Family Room,” Ian said. “The room helps provide families of sick children a welcoming respite in the harsh hospital environment. “I’m so proud to have been part of the McDonald’s family for four decades and grateful for the amazing opportunities I’ve been given. “I have loved being part of the Hawkesbury and Nepean communities for so many years and hope that I can continue to support them for years to come.” Just like riding a bike! Ian Garton displays all his old skills in flipping burgers at his Bligh Park McDonald’s. www.hdinews.com.au THE hawkesbury INDEPENDENT