A Pillar of Industry Wisdom

Gerard McCluskey, Managing Director of Landson Glass Australia, has been entrenched in Australia’s glass and glazing industry for over four decades. In his words, ‘I entered the glass industry on 1 April 1974 – a memorable April Fool’s Day for me! I’ve now worked in the industry for 43 years, and forged many lasting friendships.’

Text by Tim Roberts, Photography by Fotogroup

So, how did this ‘Warrnambool boy, born and bred’ choose glazing as a career? ‘After starting my final year of HSC, I decided school wasn’t the path for me,’ Gerard remembers. ‘I left that year, applying for a general store hand role at Yencken Sandy Glass, Warrnambool.’

And with that decision, Gerard was on his way. ‘My family has always had a strong work ethic, so I gave it my best shot,’ he says. ‘I steadily worked my way from store hand to shower screen fabricator, and subsequently administration and sales. This was back in the mid-70s, working on Teledex and other antiquated equipment. Most documents were handwritten in those days.’

Two years went by, and the ambitious boy sought greater challenges. ‘I applied for a transfer to Melbourne in 1976, seeking a position in Yencken Sandy’s National Head Office in Ferntree Gully Road, Notting Hill,’ he remembers. ‘I received the role, moved to Melbourne, and rented a Murrumbeena flat with some ex-Warrnambool mates.’

One commitment, however, kept Gerard tied to home. ‘I had recently met the love of my life, Anne, a Warrnambool girl,’ he says. ‘As she was in the middle of studying Primary Teaching, I headed back to see her every weekend.’

Back in Melbourne, Gerard rapidly rose through the ranks. ‘I worked in various aspects of the business, from sales to estimation to branch management,’ he remembers. ‘I looked after branches in Albury and Coburg over two years, until being appointed Grovedale (Geelong) Branch Manager at age 21.’

This text is an excerpt from Glass Australia Magazine July ‘17, read the full article here (pdf).

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