I'ts more than just gas!
Grant O'Neill's 25 years of service
STORY Grant O’NEILL | PHOTO Supplied
Towards the end of the 1880’s there were two major municipal projects underway in Warwick. One was the construction of the Warwick Town Hall, with the clock tower as an afterthought, and the other was the construction of the gasworks, serving a population of about 3000.
In the early days, coal was delivered to the gasworks by rail from Tannymorel. It was then put through a gasification process before being delivered through pipes made redundant 80 years later. The closing of the gasworks, around the time that I was born, marked the end of an era and opened opportunities for the distribution of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) through cylinders and bulk gas deliveries into customers’ tanks.
And so the gas journey began….
During the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s, a lot of hard work, sweat and tears went into building the foundations of a business that was an absolute credit to all involved. In order to keep up with the local population growth, it was necessary to develop the ability to deliver to a wider customer base and so cylinder trucks and bulk tankers came into use. The Warwick Terminal was rebranded several times over the years, starting with Speed-E-Gas, Gas Corporation of Queensland, Boral Gas, Boral Energy, Origin Energy and now Origin.
I started with the company back in 1995, I can still remember meeting the manager of then Boral Energy, Herb Collins, for the first time and thinking he was a tyrant. But Herb ran a tight ship and he always reminded you who was boss. He wasn’t backward in coming forward and lookout if he was coming forward in your direction.
Shortly after starting at the Warwick terminal I found myself behind the wheel of one of Boral’s road tankers. As I drove, I often reflected on how great it was to be able to deliver energy to customers who were also building dreams in their own businesses. I knew that being surrounded by such motivated people every day would only have a positive impact on my life. Herb was a great boss and still today we all miss him very much, but I am fortunate to keep in touch with his son Anthony and our office manager through this period, Fran Hockings. We often find ourselves reminiscing about Herb’s mannerisms and having a good laugh. We are all very fortunate to have worked alongside the boss they called Herb Collins, at the Warwick Terminal. He was generous to a fault and would often throw a hundred on the bar for us to enjoy drinks after work. It was over these drinks that Herb would sometimes share his thoughts on our history, but more importantly, on where we were heading as a business in our region.
November 2020 will see me achieve 25 years of service and I can honestly say that I have a deep appreciation for the history and hard work of all those who have come before me. I often find myself reflecting on my own journey and I truly feel humble to have played a part in the history of the Warwick Terminal. I have seen so many changes along the way, more than I could possibly list here. But to sum it up, I would say this: Whether we like it or not, we are moving into a very fast changing digital world. I believe that the better equipped our frontline people are at adapting to these changes and guiding the customers we come into contact with each day, the better we will be able to support their individual needs and meet their expectations. I feel more than ever that through this pandemic, companies that can promote and link arms with the customer can look forward to coming out of it even stronger.
The Warwick team these days sees me (Bulk Gas Distribution), Barry Scanlan (Service & Installation), Gordon Murphy (Bulk Cylinder Distribution), David Harrigan (Darling Downs Manager) and Tammy King (Darling Downs Account Manager) supporting a large data base and always keep safety and the customer at the forefront of everything we do. We have a great work environment and have a lot of fun as we go about keeping our customers in gas and supporting their dreams each and every day.
To wake up each day after 25 years and head off to Origin to deliver energy to a wide range of customers is something I am truly thankful for. Watching our business grow alongside our customers’ has been a humbling experience. I’d encourage anyone wanting to get into the energy business to consider Origin. It affords you the opportunity to take your own personal journey, meet inspirational people and look forward to rewarding opportunities.
At Origin the focus is on getting energy right for our customers, communities, and planet. Working at Origin you have the opportunity to shape the future of energy.