TIME FOR A BREAK: Len Hams and his wife, Zandrea from Hams Panel Beating Service are shutting the doors after 51 years.
TIME FOR A BREAK: Len Hams and his wife, Zandrea from Hams Panel Beating Service are shutting the doors after 51 years. Matt Collins

Kingaroy business says farewell after 50 years

KINGAROY panel beater for over 50 years, Lenny Hams was looking forward to a well-deserved rest.

With his wife, Zandrea, Mr Hams has run Hams Panel Beating Service since the 1960s.

Born and raised in Kingaroy, Mr Hams started as a panel beater and it wasn't long before he bought the land on East Nanango Rd for the business.

At the time, he believed securing decent employment in the future would be a challenge for his children.

"When the dole first started, I thought there'll be no jobs left for my kids, so I better start a shop,” he said.

A natural business man, Hams panel beating took off straight away.

"Our prices were good and we had no trouble getting customers,” he said.

At the height of their success, Mr Hams employed seven panel beaters.

"Some of our workers have gone on to start their own panel shop.”

"It's a good feeling to know they have done well.”

Looking to the future, Mr Hams assumed the block where he has run his business for half-a-century would be snapped up pretty quickly.

If a big multi-national corporation was to purchase the block, Mr Hams said he wouldn't be too emotional about it.

"They might knock this over and put some big fancy building here,” he said.

He said a lot has changed over the years.

"We were the only place out here 50 years ago,” Mr Hams said.

"Now we are the centre of town.”

The veteran business owner offered some sound advice for any young, aspiring entrepreneurs.

"Don't give up,” he said.

"Every time you think its getting hard, the next day it comes good.”

However, Mr Hams believed it is harder now than it was when he first started.

"In those days we didn't have all the paperwork,” he said.

"All we had was a docket book and a cheque book and that was it.”

South Burnett

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