Thirty-seven years ago, Jocelyn and Keith Falconer took a risk that paid off – they built up a successful business in Tapanui.
Now, more than three decades later, the Tapanui couple have sold their business, Wylies Garage.
As well as serving the community in the garage, Mr Falconer has been involved in various organisations such as the fire brigade, school boards of trustees and the West Otago Community Board.
But, perhaps more importantly, the couple provided inspiration for their children.
The couple bought Wylies Garage from Mr Falconer’s uncle, Rae Falconer.
Wylies Garage opened in 1927, meaning it was “probably one of the oldest active service stations” in New Zealand, Mr Falconer said.
The couple had been contracted to remain part of Wylies Garage for now and all staff had retained their current positions, Mrs Falconer said.
She had been actively involved in the business from the time they bought it, she said.
“Without question, I couldn’t do it without her and she couldn’t do it without me,” Mr Falconer said.
Working long hours had been the norm, starting at 7am and not finishing until 6pm.
“I love my job,” Mr Falconer said.
But the time had come for the couple to do something for themselves, he said.
At the start of their business career, the service station was open seven days.
The couple’s daughter, Melissa Proctor, said that during their three decades in business, her parents had inspired her with their hard work, dedication and commitment.
Not every husband and wife team could work “horrendous” hours each week and still be truly inspiring, Mrs Proctor said.
“And I know first-hand that at times it has not been easy.”
Mr Falconer was a mechanic by trade when the couple decided to take on the business.
He grew up in Gore and went to Gore Main School and then Gore High School.