LAST week marked the end of an era in Capella when McConville Earthmoving, a local family business, changed ownership.
For more than 32 years this business has supplied concrete for much of Capella and district’s residential, industrial and shire infrastructure.
Kevin McConville first worked in the Central Highlands in 1960 as a lad on Highland Plains, a cattle and grain property, near Clermont.
Between 1963-68 Kevin tried his hand at share farming on Banbar Plains, a Springsure district property. The run of dry years proved it was not the best time to be in broadacre grain farming.
Kev then sought adventure and an opportunity to save by working for three years at the copper mines at Bougainville.
Returning to Australia and marrying Helen Kelly, Kevin saw opportunities in 1974 when the then new town of Dysart was being established. He was encouraged by the building contractors to purchase a backhoe plus gravel truck and sub-contract to them.
When Dysart’s development drew to a close, Kevin purchased industrial land in Capella and established a concrete batching plant.
It was a small-scale beginning but as the region developed, Kevin added further earthmoving equipment, concrete trucks and a full-time employee.
One of his busiest times was early in 2009 with the construction of the Capella Coach Inn.
It was not all business as Kevin and Helen became involved in a number of Capella community organisations. Vinnies, Capella local ambulance committee, Catholic Church and the Capella Pioneer Village benefited from their support.
The family business would often be in a list of sponsors for Capella community events. Kevin and Helen were recently given recognition for this with an Australia Day Senior Citizen award.
Age and health issues forced Kevin to consider selling up and Central Hire and Contracting, owned by Ron and Sally Minchin, has taken over. Ron had supplied concrete from his plant in Capella specifically to coal mine developments.
Over the years Ron and Kev often cross-hired trucks, drivers and supplied concreting materials to each other for the big jobs. Kevin described the business relationship as working together for the benefit of both.
Kevin and Helen have established a home at the coast but Kevin has a collection of tractors/crawlers on display at the Pioneer Village.
He intends to be back for periods undertaking restoration and visiting his grandchildren.
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