AFTER 32 years in the livestock industry and almost 20 years as a director of Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen, Naracoorte identity Glen Hamlyn has retired.
Originally from Nhill in Victoria, the lovable larrikin found his calling as a stock agent in the SE and quickly became a familiar face at saleyards all over SA, Victoria and New South Wales.
"Hambo" said his final store sale at the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange last month left him with a bitter-sweet feeling.
"It's what I have done my whole life," he said.
"I believe that if you're not at the top of your game then you can't be in the game, that's my opinion.
"My clients, my partners and myself - I would be letting the whole team down if I wasn't at the top of my game.
"My clients mean too much to me to get second rate service from a bloke that's not totally committed to being a stock agent anymore.
"I'm just wanting to take a backward step and explore other hobbies."
Mr Hamlyn started work as an agent for Bennett Farmers in Nhill in 1981, before moving to Hamilton and then finally to Naracoorte in 1983.
He was still working for Bennett Farmers which was bought by Dalgetys that same year.
A few business ventures later, including Hamlyn & Co in 1988 and Hamlyn Wellington Auctioneers 18 months after that, he joined forces with Michael Palm - the manager of Dalgetys in Penola at the time.
They formed Hamlyn & Palm and saw it fit to team up with Pinkerton & Steen, which was run by Peter Pinkerton and Robin Steen.
Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen was established in 1998 and has become a well-known name in the industry.
Mr Hamlyn said he had developed great friendships with his fellow partners, staff and clients.
"Our staff are extremely loyal and we have extremely good stock agents," he said.
"Many farmers and meat suppliers have become not only loyal business partners but good friends also.
"I think we have been very successful because we treat our clients well, we look hard for different markets and finally because we are committed to working really hard."
He said he had mostly fond memories of his time travelling around the country while buying and selling thousands of livestock - including when lambs made $100 in the saleyards and the buying gallery responded by stopping and applauding, when cows got nearly $2 per kilo, and when PPH&S yarded 20,000 head in just one day.
The opening of the new PPH&S office in 2006 was another highlight as was getting to work alongside his daughter Georgina while auctioning.
A time he would rather forget was when there was an oversupply of sheep in the early 90s which resulted in a big cull: "That was a terrible moment," he said.
Mr Hamlyn said Naracoorte was the perfect place to start and pursue his career.
"It really is a great place - there are great sporting facilities, great shopping facilities, great medical facilities and great school facilities," he said.
"When I moved here and I met my wife Leanne, I never looked back."
Now that his retirement is official Mr Hamlyn's PPH&S shares have been bought by "seven young fellows in the company".
"(The business) will never be owned by a corporation...it will always be local and any profits will stay local," he said with assurance.
While happy to still help out with PPH&S when required, Mr Hamlyn is now looking forward to taking a back seat, spending more time with his wife and visiting his other daughter Sophie in Port Lincoln.
"We would like to do a bit of travelling, my golf swing needs a bit of work, I'll probably tinker with some wood work and there's a fish or two that need to be caught," he said.
"I would love to do community aid abroad or help out with Meals on Wheels or something like that too."
Mr Hamlyn will celebrate his successful career and retirement with friends, family and work colleagues at a special event next Friday.