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Longest serving Duratray employee retiring after 40 years

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

The Duratray International family bids a reluctant farewell to Field Service Supervisor Donald Frederick Wright (66), who is retiring at the end of October. Mr. Wright steps away as the longest-serving employee in Duratray International history, with nearly 40 years of experience with various Duratray divisions and products.

Mr. Wright began his storied career in the company in 1982 when Dunlop Industrial offered him the position of Field Service Leading Hand. In 1985, he was promoted to Field Service Supervisor.

In 1989, Pacific Dunlop introduced the Suspended Dump Body to the local mining industry and Dunlop Industrial Field Service personnel were responsible for the installation of its rubber components. It was during this period that Pacific Dunlop changed its name to Duratray International. Approximately 10 years later the company was acquired by Chilean heavy machinery manufacturer Conymet.

Don working in PNG.

Mr Wright’s most memorable and at the same time most challenging time working with Duratray was the installation of rubber kits into six CAT 789 trucks at Kumtor mine site in Kyrgyzstan. The job took place in the open with only a tarpaulin with a small diesel heater to ward off the elements. There were -30 degrees Celsius, snow, and they worked at an altitude of 4,300 metres with 30 per cent less oxygen. This, plus the language barrier, made the whole experience an unforgettable moment.

Clearly, traveling for work was not always that hard - one of the places Mr. Wright enjoyed the most during his travels was Canada. “Great scenery and people are easy to get along with,” he said.

Don with part of the team.

About to retire, Don, as most people call him, states as his biggest accomplishment during his time in the company, assisting in the improvement of Duratray products.

Mr Wright says that what he will miss the most of his time at Duratray is working alongside Field Service Supervisor Kevin Bolton for the last 30 plus years, whom he’s become close friend with.

The Duratray family is deeply saddened to see Mr. Wright go, but grateful to have spent all these years with him and pleased that he will finally get a hard-earned break. His plan for retirement is to caravan with his wife Michelle in different states over the next few years for seven months at a time during Perth’s winter months and volunteer as a Fire Fighter during Perth’s summer months.

Mr. Wright has been married to Michelle for 30 years and has three sons and nine grandchildren, aged from 3 to 23 years old. He enjoys Asian food and, as a true Oz, he loves a good stake. He’s a sport lover – his favourite football teams are Falcons (WAFL) and Carlton (AFL) and his favourite Cricket teams are Queensland and Australia.

Thank you, Donald. The knowledge that you shared and the learning you brought cannot be compared.

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