AFTER 47 long years, Mark Tenace has officially moved on from Knights Furniture.
Having joined the company in 1973 as a fresh-faced 17-year-old, Mark said it was a bittersweet feeling to clear out his desk and walk out the door for the final time as an employee.
“It was absolutely a tough decision. I was thinking about doing it for 12 months but kept putting it off, putting it off and putting it off,” he said.
“Clearly I’ll miss the work mates here, and you get to meet a lot of people in this job and it’s always rewarding.”
Mark said he made the decision to leave Knights Furniture so he could work in sales for his son Jason’s company Active Energy Group.
“I’ve been three days a week in this job for the past couple of years and I’ve been able to work three days in the solar role as well. But because solar is so busy now, it just took up too much of my time,” he said.
“I’ve decided that doing the one job and working for my son was the way to go. One job had to give, and it had to be this one.”
Mark is the first of the company’s four long-term employees — Dominic D’Augello, Morris Gorman and Yvonne O’Donnell — to have made the move.
Collectively, they boast more than 150 years of experience working at the store.
“There has been four of us who have been here a long time,” Mark said.
“Morris has been here for a similar time, Dominic has been here 50 years and Yvonne has been here nearly 25 years.
“We’ve had other staff members come and go over the years, but we’ve predominately been the core.”
In fact, Dominic was the reason Mark got the job at Knights Furniture in the first place.
“Dominic put in a recommendation that I should get a job here and he’s been stuck with me for 47 years. He’s probably regretted it ever since,” Mark said.
“It’s his own fault for me being here for so many years.”
Dominic said to lose someone like Mark was huge for the company.
“The time was going to come,” he said.
“Our time was getting to the stage where a new chapter was going to open up. To lose someone with over 47 years’ experience is massive.
“When I’m out on a job, he’s always been my back-up. That’s going to be hard for me not having that experience anymore.”
When asked what they would not miss about working together, Mark and Dominic both pointed at their near 50-year-long football rivalry.
“We have a banter and football is our banter,” Dominic said.
“He supports the wrong team [Collingwood] and I support the right team [Essendon]. But we’ve always gotten on very well.
“He has left huge shoes to fill.”
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