Part of the working class

Highlights: Bob Christie has been in business locally since 1969, and in 2012 won the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo: Supplied.

Highlights: Bob Christie has been in business locally since 1969, and in 2012 won the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo: Supplied.

"As an ordinary bloke, I love the North Goulburn area because it epitomises the working class," says Bob Christie, owner of Goulburn Smash Repair Centre at 74 Maud Street, Goulburn.

"Drive around our streets and see the well-kept lawns and gardens, and you will see the pride that our end of Goulburn exhibits and I'm proud to be a part of it."

Interestingly, Goulburn Smash Repair Centre is one of the longest-running businesses in the northern Goulburn area with the same local proprietor.

Bob started his spray painting business way back in 1969, with the original site being located in Clinton Street. The shop was later moved to the back of the former Flacks Mazda dealership in Auburn Street.

In 1986 they moved to their current site after Bob decided it made sense to expand the shop's capacity, and so he purchased part of the Maud Street factory, formerly the Lilac Laundry. Some may recall that it was furnished with wooden-look furniture.

"This was all done with the help of the then-owner Peter Dean who had a nursing home in Verner Street, hence his need for a commercial laundry factory," Bob explained of the situation.

Three big sheds: The shop has been in its current factory premises, on the site of the former Lilac Laundry, since 1986. Photo: Supplied.

Three big sheds: The shop has been in its current factory premises, on the site of the former Lilac Laundry, since 1986. Photo: Supplied.

Since then, the team has also grown. When Bob's daughter Monique Dean started working there in 1999 they had a staff of five.

Now, "We employ thirteen people, the majority with long-term service," Bob says.

Since opening his own local business in 1969 Bob has also gone to the effort of putting something back into the trade, training up many apprentices and even keeping a number of them on to this day.

"In our 35th year at this site, we have proudly produced many highly-skilled tradesmen, some of whom are still today a vital part of the running of Goulburn Smash Repair Centre as they share the workload with myself and Monique and maintain the standards we have built the business on," he stated.

Noting how pleased he is with his team's work ethic, "My boys are just like me, only younger,'' Bob proudly adds with a grin.

Long-term: The shop has produced many tradesmen, several of whom still work there. "My boys are just like me, only younger,'' Bob says proudly. Photo: Supplied.

Long-term: The shop has produced many tradesmen, several of whom still work there. "My boys are just like me, only younger,'' Bob says proudly. Photo: Supplied.

Over the years a number of events have been memorable highlights for the business.

For example, in 2012 Bob won the National Collision Repairer Lifetime Achievement Award.

The most epic hail event in the area occurred in September 2004, and with hundreds of cars needing to be processed they became 'ground zero' for a time.

Having been in the game for over 55 years now Bob is showing no signs of slowing down, and he clearly does love this part of the world.

And if you're wondering what locals think of the business, just take a look at the reviews on their Facebook page. They're as gleaming as the paint on any of the cars they've just completed.

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