Mackay couple hit retiring age, open new business

NEW VENTURE: Sonnie and Julie Gauci have opened their business Blues Smash Repairs in East Mackay.
NEW VENTURE: Sonnie and Julie Gauci have opened their business Blues Smash Repairs in East Mackay. Shakira Sellen

A MACKAY couple refuse to give up; and after having had problems receiving the pension, they've decided to open a business.

At 67, Sonnie Gauci has just opened Blue Smash Repairs with his wife Julie.

Friends have called them crazy for opening the business, Mrs Gauci said.

"They said 'why are you doing this you're too old'," she said.

"'Why don't you just retire gracefully?' they said.

"Age is only a number we say to them."

The Gaucis ran Gozo Automotive Spraypainting on Prospect St before selling it in 2010.

They have now bought back the business as Blues Smash Repairs on Industrial St.

Mr Gauci who is entitled to the pension, said after having a few issues trying to receive payments the couple decided to go back to Mr Gauci's trade.

"People won't hire you if you're over 50," he said.

"People think you can't do anything after 50.

"If I'm still fit enough and passionate about my paint work I thought why not (buy the business)."

They also own a investment property in Finch Hatton but don't want to sell until the market picks up again.

"We've got some assets," he said.

"But I don't want to have to sell assets to pay the electricity bill.

"The way we were going was you'll end up with no assets and broke.

"So I thought stuff it, we'll go down fighting."

Previously he drove locomotives and semi trailers and estimated he had driven about 80,000km.

On Tuesday Mr Gauci was buffing a Chrysler Valiant Charger which he planned to sell in the workshop on Industrial St.

"You're not going to forget the trade it's like riding a push bike," he said.

The couple have lived in Finch Hatton for about 40 years and have no plans to move.

It's just the two of them at the moment but they said they may look for more staff later on.

Topics:  business general-seniors-news mackay pension retirement

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