Les turns from quarryman into fisherman
FROM quarryman to fisherman.
That's the plan anyway for Les Frost, who is set to retire after more than 30 years at the head of Frost Enterprises. The company, then known as Frost Brothers, came to Gladstone to take over the Taragoola limestone quarry in the Calliope Shire.
Les was 17 at that time and had started work in a tin mine west of Cooktown then joined the company's operations in Townsville in 1970 and a year later started work at its Sarina plant.
His career in the family business was interrupted when he spent 12 months of National Service in New Guinea and Townsville before he came to the Taragoola quarry as operations manager.
'I came for two years and stayed,' Les said recently.
His wife Laraine said the company began on a tight budget "but through Les's sheer determination, precision and scrupulous methods', and previous expertise elsewhere in Queensland, he brought the enterprise to its full potential.
'Les did not believe in separating himself from his workers and could often be seen driving the machinery or helping out with other tasks,' she said.
'Now that he is retiring he will have more time to spend doing what he loves most ? boating and fishing.'
At age 54, Les will retire this week to 'look after my investments in the local area', to travel and to fish, he said.
Frost limestone has been a major ingredient in Queensland Alumina Ltd's processes, and the company also provides kiln stone for Cement Australia's Fisherman's Landing plant delivered by road and rail.
Frost Enterprises was sold to Unimin about a year ago, but Les stayed on for the transition of the new management.
He's ready to give the fishing gear a good workout. Eight-page tribute to Les in tomorrow's Observer.