Like father, like son, like grandson: 300 years at the City of Sydney

Article image - Like father, like son, like grandson: 300 years at the City of Sydney The Walker family celebrating the 21st birthday of James George Walker in 1928. James George Walker, began work at Council in 1922 as the Town Clerk's Messenger and Lift Driver. He later became a Fitter and Turner in the Parks and Recreation Department.

Like father, like son, like grandson: 300 years at the City of Sydney


The Walker family celebrating the 21st birthday of James George Walker in 1928. James George Walker, began work at Council in 1922 as the Town Clerk's Messenger and Lift Driver. He later became a Fitter and Turner in the Parks and Recreation Department.

Three generations of the remarkable Surry Hills' Walker family have clocked up almost 300 years of service to the people of Sydney in jobs that included dunny-cart man, official ratcatcher, fitter and turner and records manager.

The youngest family member, Andrew Walker is the Quality Assurance Coordinator for the City of Sydney's Customer Service department. Andrew, 58, will be presented with a 40-year long service award this week. He follows in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and three great uncles who each spent 50 years working for Council.

"I started work at Council straight after school when I was 18. Dad wanted me to work with him, just like he did with his father." Andrew said.

"It was nice working with Dad, and as I've come to grow up in Council, I've really appreciated his influence. It's part of our family history."

Work at the City has changed dramatically over the years, and this is reflected in the very different jobs the family has held.

"My grandfather, James Charles Walker, started working for Council in 1893 and spent half his life collecting people's dunnies on a horse and cart. Instead of a Council car, he had a Council horse and cart - it was one of the perks of the job." Andrew said.

"Later he was promoted to rat catcher, which was an important job a time when plagues threatened Sydney."

Andrew's father, James George Walker, began work at Council in 1922 as the Town Clerk's Messenger and Lift Driver. He later became a Fitter and Turner in the Parks and Recreation Department.

"Dad's claim to fame was that he hand-made the original wands and fittings for the El Alamein Fountain.


Andrew Walker

His expertise was building things and making them work - he was the person you came to in Council to fix things," Andrew said.

Andrew started work in 1971 as Council Clerk in the Stores (Purchasing Office). Over the years he has had many roles including Licensing Clerk, Senior Freedom of Information Coordinator and Records Manager, before his present job.

Andrew's great uncles, John Ernest Sugden and Claude Harold Sugden, worked as Council Labourers from 1900 to 1950 and 1904 to 1954 respectively. His third great uncle, Rupert Lesley Sugden, was the Lord Mayor's Chauffeur and Council truck driver from 1906 to 1956.

"It's hard to feel that I've been here for 40 years. As you see with my family, Council can be a job for life. I could work another 10 years here and am not thinking of retiring yet." Andrew said.

City of Sydney's Chief Executive Officer, Monica Barone, said recognising the contribution of long-serving employees was of great importance to the City.

"We truly value our employees. They are the heart of what we do - delivering quality services to the community." Ms Barone said.

"I'm proud to say that we have many long-serving employees with 59 percent serving five or more years and 37 percent over 10 years. These members of staff have some extraordinary stories, none more remarkable than the Walker family.

"The Service Awards are a way of acknowledging and rewarding the commitment of our employees for dedicated years of service."

Service Awards recognise employees with five years of service to the City.

Every five year anniversary after that is recognised, up to 50 years of service. Presentations are held twice a year with employees receiving a Certificate of Recognition and a gift voucher at a special ceremony.