Retiring Dean and Associates legal executive Heather Robb remembers her first day at the Oamaru law firm well.
Returning to the workforce after a seven-year break to have children, walking into a law firm was a “daunting” experience and she could never have imagined it would be the start of a 33-year career there.
Mrs Robb began as a trust account operator and finished last Friday – 33 years, six months and 26 days later – to join her husband Alistair in retirement.
Her excitement for travelling and spending more time with family was tinged with sadness.
“I’m going to miss everybody here – and I’ll be keeping in touch with a lot of them,” she said.
“But absolutely looking forward to the next stage in life.”
She had seen many changes at the Oamaru law firm over the years – especially in the name and technology.
Starting as a trust account operator, she then worked as a secretary and legal executive.
She had become known as the firm’s residential property specialist, and her work included advising clients on all aspects of residential transactional work, such as agreements for sale and purchase, tenancies, title, due diligence, insurance, finance and wills.
It was the interaction with people – colleagues and clients – that she loved most about the job.
Mr and Mrs Robb were looking forward to travelling around the country in their motorhome for the next year.
They left for a tour of southern South Island last Friday and then planned to spend at least a year in the North Island, where they would be closer to family.
“Our children both live in the North Island, so that’s the reason why we want to go up there – help with the grandchildren if need be and be a bit closer,” she said.
Eventually, they will return to Oamaru and Mrs Robb said she hopes to be more involved in voluntary work in her retirement.