AFTER more than a decade in charge of the construction of homes and major projects in Hope Vale, builder Rick Ashcroft was farewelled by a large crowd last week as he prepares for semi-retirement.
The senior construction manager at Hope Vale Aboriginal Shire Council has been in the role for 14 years and has led the mostly local Indigenous tradesmen to build 60 new homes in the community and numerous big-ticket projects.
“We built numerous commercial projects as well, including swimming pool facilities, the Council precinct and several health care facilities,” Mr Ashcroft said.
Mr Ashcroft started with Hope Vale council as assistant to former construction manager and longtime local builder Peter Irwin, before moving into the top job when Mr Irwin retired.
“I hope I have done Peter proud as he is an outstanding builder with a long-term connection to Hope Vale,” Mr Ashcroft said.
“Our team has renovated hundreds of houses and carried out maintenance on over 280 homes, as well as council and government buildings in Hope Vale.”
Mr Ashcroft isn’t completely severing ties with Hope Vale, as he will continue working from home in a sub-contractor role to support the council and community until the new senior construction manager recruitment is finalised.
“Rick Ericson, the construction manager who has assisted me for the past six years, will continue in that role,” he said.
“I have forged many lifetime friendships with the residents of Hope Vale and thank them for their acceptance of me and the warm appreciation often displayed.
“I have worked with the best local government team anyone could wish for, including CEO Steve Linnane, chief financial officer Shannon Gibbs, operations manager Gene Brookes, mayor Jason Woibo, construction manager Rick Ericson and warehouse manager Tracey Rapihana.”
Mr Ashcroft said he was slowing down to concentrate on his role as senior pastor for Cooktown Community Church and taking trips on his motorbike with his wife Terri.
“I hope to enjoy many more motorcycle trips with my wife around Australia, but mainly Queensland where it’s warmer,” he said