50 Years Service – Colin Winter retires from SBS

Press Release – SBS Bank

It was a just another day when a young Colin Winter came door-knocking for a job at the Southland Building and Investment Society and Bank of Deposits and asked to see the head man. The boss was Hugh Ritchie and Colin immediately thought he was …

50 Years Service – Colin Winter retires from SBS Bank on Friday 21 August 2009

It was a just another day when a young Colin Winter came door-knocking for a job at the Southland Building and Investment Society and Bank of Deposits and asked to see the head man. The boss was Hugh Ritchie and Colin immediately thought he was “a pretty impressive man, he knew what he wanted and he was a real leader among men and generous to boot.”

“He asked if I could add a few numbers together, I said ‘yes’ and he asked when I could start – that was on Monday 3 August 1959.”

“My parents had sold their farm at Wyndham and I needed a job in town. I had a job in Wyndham at United Trading Company, the local hardware and general store, but it didn’t pay enough for me to board in Wyndham or the petrol for my motorbike to commute from town.

“Hugh Ritchie was extremely benevolent too. Hard up struggling families would have food parcels turn up and they wouldn’t know who they came from. He always took the time to care for the Society’s members.

“But he could be tough too, in the right kind of way that was beneficial to the Building Society.

Almost 50 years later, Colin has held positions as an arrears clerk, investments, loans records and has been in lending since 1980.

Colin says one of the biggest events during his time with SBS Bank was the move from a “very vast ledger system to computers, along with all the accompanying trials and tribulations – of which there were many! Everyone tended to be gun-shy and didn’t want to push a button in case you blew something up,” he laughs.

To see SBS gain bank registration last year was a fantastic way to round out the 50 years – along with the fact he is now lending to third generations.

“That’s been the beauty of my career – the interaction with the customers. I’m very much a people person.”

Q: The difference between the generations?

“The basics are still the same. Today the expectations of people is being able to borrow more – it’s the “I want it now generation.”

“Today’s generation want to start where their parents have finished.

“I’ve enjoyed my career very much and that’s because of the interaction with the customers – I’m very much a people person.”

Personal anecdote from Melissa Chilton and husband Peter White

Colin’s fantastic people skills and exceptional knowledge and expertise with lending at SBS Bank was certainly not lost on a couple who became first-time, full account clients at SBS Bank a few years ago. It was just when Colin was trying to battle the major cancer surgery and he just undergone what became a long and remarkable battle against cancer. While under the supervision of former SBS Bank Invercargill branch manager Steve Beale, these new and musical clients were so awed by the initial service they were receiving they wrote Colin a “rap song” and sent it to Steve Beale with an uplifting letter of how impressed they were with Colin, the branch and the service.

Steve was so blown away – he’d never experienced anything like it in his long banking career. He very sneakily arranged a staff branch meeting on the Friday when the doors closed at 4.30pm, gave a small speech and played the CD through the in-house sound system to the delight of everyone there and to the shock of Colin. Steve also wrote an extremely touching note to the song writers thanking them for such a great, first-time experience and that was soon followed by a personal visit from Colin to the song composers – complete with a bottle of wine. He was pretty chuffed!

THE FUTURE

As for the future, Colin assures he needs “something to do,” and along with a multitude of other community roles and interests and he certainly won’t be idle!

He has sporting interests are motor sport and golf, and his hobbies are gardening and, when time permits, philately, including the Postal History of Southland and Otago. He is also now a keen Lawn Bowler.

Community involvements are with Justices of the Peace, as Registrar of the Southland Association and Court work. He is also a Board member of the Invercargill Licensing Trust, Director of Rugby Southland and Cycling Southland Racing and Carnival committee. In 2006 he was awarded the Queens Service Medal for Public Services. He is also a Life member of Southland Philatelic Society and Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

ENDS

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