Out of the pool for a fresh start
AN ERA is about to end at the Tweed River Aquatic Centre with the retirement of long-time manager Glenn Nott this month.
There aren't too many people who remember the Murwillumbah pool without a Nott in charge, with Glenn taking over from his dad, Don. His dad started at the pool in 1974 and he returned from Mt Isa in 1979 to join the family.
"I started working here when I was 22, about to turn 23 - dad was already here," Glenn said.
"So, I've been here, Notts have been here for nearly 50 years. We've seen some changes.
"Dad was manager too - it started off with him as pool superintendent, then pool manager, then supervisors and all sorts of different names.
"But there's been a Nott in charge of the pool for nearly 50 years, it's an end of an era."
So, does he have another family member wanting to take over?
"No, noooo," he laughed. Nobody wants to do it; it's changed in 50 years.
"I was working in Mt Isa in the smelters up there, I was 22 years old, my father asked me to give him a hand for six months.
"And now 40 years later I'm retiring - it was a long six months.
"The pools have changed, when we first arrived it was a very open area and not much barriers between the inside and outside, fences were installed and the water slides.
"The big one was 10 years ago when we did the redevelopment, but it's come on and it's looking really good now."
So why stay in one place for so long?
"It's varied," he said. "I deal with lots of different people which makes it quite interesting.
"I deal with nearly every branch in council, I deal with politicians, councillors, all sorts or members of the community and it's not a bad office.
"Every day's different, it can be challenging with some of the clients we have but it's just been a good life.
"We've had lots of crazy things - some of the external jobs we did when we used to close for winter.
"Jeff Collier and I used to be put to work in other council divisions.
When they first started to charge at the tip, we were the ones they put on there, they thought we could handle complaints and a bit of public relations.
"We got abused and all sorts of names called, and that was very interesting that year," he laughed.
"We've done dog registration, change for the surveyors, building. But the last 20 years has been full-time at the pool.
"We run all three pools (Kingscliff, South Tweed and Murwillumbah) all under the same banner.
"We also look at water safety, we do a lot of school events, I've been involved with Rotary helping raise money for the hydrotherapy pool - that sort of commitment from the community has been great."
Glenn's wife Anni Brownjohn runs the highly successful Ozganics, organic food company, and while they will be taking a trip to the UK after his retirement, he said Anni would find him plenty to do.