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Long journey . . . BP 2GO Oamaru co-owner Chris Rawson (pictured) and brother Stephen are selling the busy service station they have owned for 27 years. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

Chis Rawson expects emotions will flow when the service station he and brother Stephen have owned for close to 30 years sells.

The pair, who own BP 2GO Oamaru in Thames St, have decided to put the business they have owned since 1993 on the market after years in the always changing industry.

Chris said the decision was a logical one, given his older brother was keen to retire sooner rather than later.

“Stephen’s 66 .. he’s looking at retiring and we always said when he was going to retire, we’d sell.

“You have to do it at some stage. There will be a tear in the eye .. I’m pretty cool with it at present, but it will be a major change for all of us really.”

The pair’s work in the industry dates back to 1983, when they bought the BP station in Tees St they both worked at, then the company’s only Oamaru premises, situated where the St Vincent de Paul shop is now.

The industry was going through a period of change at the time, and they wanted to move with it.

“When deregulation came along there was a lot of closing of smaller stations. BP bought this one and the one at the top of the hill (Wansbeck St), that were both Mobil at that stage. They bought both of them and leased them out for two or three years, then put them on the market.

“My brother and I thought if we can get up here to a better site, it would be better. Those smaller ones in the side streets wouldn’t survive now.”

It was that period that would set the blueprint for service stations of the future, which now rely heavily on additional revenue streams, or offer discounted fuel at unmanned sites, Chris said.

“There’s a lot of reliance on the shop side of things, with the barista coffee. That’s the way service stations are going. There’s stand-alone, no service, get your fuel cheaper, or you come to the likes of us. We’re a wee bit dearer because we employ 11 people. You get your pie, your coffee, your sandwich. There’s two different ways.”

Stephen was on holiday when the Oamaru Mail visited BP 2GO this week, but Chris said his brother had enjoyed the industry as much as he did.

Chris had particularly enjoyed seeing shy school pupils work at the service station and leave with more confidence, and also serving the adult children of people who filled up there years ago.

For him, it was all about the people.

“The biggest thing is, if they leave here with a smile on their face, I’m quite happy.”

As far as the future goes, he would decide on his next move once he had signed on the dotted line.

“I’ve got a few ideas, but nothing concrete whatsoever. I wouldn’t mind putting the caravan on the back of the car and going around the North Island or something like that, just as a bit of a wind-down period.”