It was 15 years ago when a young and naive Mat Langley began his electrical apprenticeship with Tatura businessman Geoff Reed.
Now, after 34 years in the business, Mr Reed has sold the business to his young protégé; changing from Geoff Reed Electrical to Mat Langley Electrical.
‘‘Mat’s young and healthy,’’ Mr Reed said.
With more than one business under his belt, Mr Reed said a health scare in 2015 had caused him to restructure things within the electrical business.
‘‘Mat was the logical man to take over; he’s known to all our customers,’’ he said.
Mr Langley said nothing would change with the handover except for the business name.
‘‘We’ll keep all the current staff and keep looking after our customers and suppliers,’’ he said.
Mr Reed and Mr Langley said one of the things they enjoyed about the electrical business was the relationships they had built with their clientele during the years.
‘‘You meet some fantastic people,’’ Mr Reed said.
‘‘We’ve got customers who have become great friends.’’
He said his biggest regret over the more than three decades at the helm was not interacting with customers as much as he would have liked.
But one particular set of customers, Mr Langley’s parents, is what landed him the apprenticeship back in 2002.
‘‘Geoff worked for my parents when I was a little kid running around the dairy,’’ Mr Langley said.
‘‘I was going to be an auto electrician but after we saw Geoff, he gave me the opportunity to work for him.
‘‘Now I know nothing else.’’
Mr Reed said Mr Langley knew the business inside and out after starting out on the tools and progressing through to electrical work, supervising other apprentices, supervising tradesmen and then into more of a management role.
Mr Langley had also been able to stay up to date with the latest technology; something Mr Reed said became challenging among several other changes during his time in business.
‘‘The town has grown a great deal,’’ Mr Reed said.
‘‘The dairy industry has fallen away a lot.
‘‘We just progress though; we diversified a lot.
‘‘We used to work for dairy farms and major companies and now its more the contracting and government side.’’
Mr Langley said they had been lucky, through Mr Reed’s contacts and knowledge, to take part in such a wide range of work.
‘‘Geoff was willing to do anything, right from the start,’’ he said.
‘‘No matter how big or how small a job was, he’d do it.’’
Mr Reed wished Mr Langley all the best with his future endeavours and noted he was only a phone call away.
‘‘I hope everything goes fantastically for him,’’ he said.
Mr Langley thanked Mr Reed for giving him the opportunity.
‘‘If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t know half of what I do.’’