Les Pontin

“From office clerk and roustabout to Branch Manager” Les Pontin enjoyed a very long and enjoyable 35 year relationship at Bridesons in Oakey. As an agent and auctioneer, Les, had an enviable reputation amongst his colleagues and clients alike. Here is Les Pontin’s story!

Les Pontin

I joined R. Brideson & Sons in 1952 at the age of 15 as a clerk and roustabout. I obtained my provisional Auctioneers licence at the age of 18, and had a full licence by the time I was 21. During the years until Bill Brideson retired as Manager, I was Auctioneer, Supevisor, Assistant Manager & Salesperson for Oakey Office. Mal Chalmers joined as Auctioneer in the early 1970’s and in later years Jeff Duggan (who later joined Catons as a top auctioneer), and Michael O’Connor (who later was assistant Manager at Oakey Abattoir) joined our office.

R. Brideson & Sons Pty Ltd. Photo shows their office in the main street of Oakey. Circa 1950’s. Photo kindly contributed by Norma Elizabeth

We were one of the top livestock selling centres in Queensland, often yarding over 500 calves, 1,000 pigs each Tuesday, and over 1,000 cattle each Thursday. We also held regular Clearing Sales, Stud Dairy Sales, Stud Beef Sales and Stud Pig Sales on an annual basis.

“Bridesons open new yards at Oakey” was the headline on Friday the 8th October 1982. Les Pontin was appointed the manager of a very successful livestock branch in that year.

Article kindly contributed by Valerie Weise Young

In 1982, Bill Brideson retired and I was appointed Manager with Mal Chalmers and Bill Barron sharing the auctioneer and salesmen’s roles. Both gentlemen are now deceased.

In 1987, I felt Oakey branch was stagnating and probably needed some new blood, so I resigned, and in July 1987, purchased a Real Estate business at Moffat Beach, Caloundra. This was a rewarding experience in my working life. I sold the business and retired in 2002. I now do a lot of volunteer work.

Les resigns his position at Oakey, saying he is ready for a “sea change!”

Article kindly contributed by Valerie Weise Young

Bill Edwards was appointed Manager at Oakey, and done a terrific job in rejuvenating Oakey Branch as a selling centre, selling over 2,000 cattle each week, on a regular basis.

Les Pontin.

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