END OF AN ERA: Menswear specialist Gary Smith has retired after 43
END OF AN ERA: Menswear specialist Gary Smith has retired after 43 "great" years working at George Gooley Menswear in Lismore. Marc Stapelberg

After 43 years, Gary says goodbye to Lismore CBD shop

AFTER 43 years of helping men to keep on-trend in Lismore, Gary Smith has hung up his measuring tape for good.

Mr Smith's been in the thick of the men's fashion world as a committed staff member at George Gooley Menswear since he was 17-years-old - and you could tell - because although he had just retired he still looked fashion forward.

The Lismore local said it was a bitter-sweet moment walking of the store as an employee for the last time on Friday.

"It's a good feeling but there's mixed emotion because it's a long time in the one place," Mr Smith said.

"I think when it comes to retirement, everyone knows when it's time.

"There are plenty of good and loyal customers that have been coming in for years that I will miss and the staff and management have been very good to me over the years."

Throughout his career, his varied roles included anything from fitting customers and sales to ordering and buying.

"When it came to fitting, some of the men had no idea," Mr Smith chuckled.

"Most of the time ladies would come in to buy for their partners, we were just there for guidance to tell them what's in what's out.

"When I started in 1976 flares were in but I'm expecting them to come back into fashion at any moment.

He recalled his first task of the job.

"We had table specials out the front and there was there little towelling shorts, selling for $2.75 each," he said.

"My first job was to go out and tidy up the tables and put them in the right sizes ... you probably wouldn't find those shorts around these days."

Fresh out of high school, Mr Smith decided to take a year off before looking for work, landing the position soon after at one of his first interviews in January 1976.

"In the later years I would help order stock in, Peter Gooley and I used to go down to Melbourne to the fashion show there and we'd do our buying," he said.

"Over the time, I had a lot of different jobs in the company because over the years they've had about 20 odd stores around, but I started and finished at the Molesworth Street shop."

Mr Smith said he looked forward to spending more time with his family and getting a bit more handy around the house

"Our long-term plan is to move to the Sunshine Coast," he said.

"I will miss the job ... it was great place to work, I felt part of the family."



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