RON Camplin's first job was at Western Stores at Molong and it didn't go well.
"I nearly ruined the place," he remembered this week. "I was just a junior helper and every job I did was wrong."
When he managed to strip all the paint from the manager's vehicle after being instructed to wash it (an innocent mistake, he says, as he had never ridden in a car to that point, let alone looked after one), his future at Western Stores was made clear.
There followed a number of other jobs – 15, in fact - before the young Mr Camplin found himself in the offices of radio station 2CH in Sydney at age 15 years and eight months.
He was offered, and accepted, a job with the station as an office boy and, defying the restlessness of his working life to that point, has been in the radio industry ever since.
So what changed?
"With the first 16 jobs, it was always interesting at first," he said. "Then I would say, gee, am I really going to be doing this for the rest of my life?
"But I've never been bored [in radio]. There's always something happening in this business."
READ ALSO: Tuned In | Ron is loyal to localism
READ ALSO:Recognition for Ron
READ ALSO:Heart and soul of the station
The Bathurst Broadcasters owner recently racked up a remarkable 70 years in commercial radio and was congratulated by 2BS and B-Rock staff at a morning tea held this week.
Among those celebrating with him was breakfast presenter Kerry Peck, who was already at the station when Mr Camplin arrived in late 1969.
"Pecky was here to meet me," he said. "He wanted to know who this little bloke from Mudgee was.
"Pecky had been here for about 12 months - and he's still here. I believe the longer people are with you, the more valuable they become."
The young Mr Camplin went from Sydney to Cooma in 1952 for his first announcing job and then to Mudgee in 1953 as an announcer and copywriter.
In Mudgee, he moved into management and then, as part of a consortium, ownership.
When he arrived in Bathurst, he said, it had 16,000 people - about two-fifths of the current population.
"But I thought that was great, because I came from Mudgee, which had a population of 5000."
And even after almost 50 years in Bathurst, his enthusiasm for the city - which he describes as being ideally placed "in the dress circle of NSW" - remains.
"Bathurst has been such an exciting city to be in business," he said.
In his 49 years in the city, Mr Camplin has collected a number of honours, including an Order of Australia Medal, a place in the Commercial Radio Australia Hall of Fame and recognition as one of Bathurst’s inaugural 200 Living Legends named for the city’s bicentenary in 2015.
He has also had a long association with Charles Sturt University, including being instrumental in the creation of what is now known as the Charles Sturt Foundation, which offers and distributes scholarships.
CSU vice-chancellor Professor Andrew Vann was one of those to offer congratulations to Mr Camplin for his 70-year anniversary, saying there were many graduates of CSU who had benefited from his “wisdom, interest, support and, especially, his enthusiasm and encouragement”.
At 86, Mr Camplin is showing no signs of slowing down. He says he still enjoys skiing and likes to rise before dawn to exercise.
And after decades as the owner of a radio station, he’s in a good position to offer advice to those who want to follow the same path.
“Always employ people who are better than yourself at almost everything,” he said. “It works.”