Odds and Ends second-hand goods and collectables store co-owner Jim Chalmers will be looking for other things to do when he retires in June this year. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
All good things must come to an end.
For Jim Chalmers, it is a recurring theme.
The 77-year-old is known as a jack-of-all-trades, having
worked at Kempthorne Prosser Pharmaceuticals, National
Mortgage Agency, Henry Berry's Butchers and Supplies, Roslyn
Mills, Radiation International, the New Zealand Electricity
Department, the Department of Labour and a couple of sawmills
And, more recently, he has been the co-owner of Odds and Ends
in Princes St for the past 16 years.
Mr Chalmers was amused that none of his former places of
employment was operating anymore, and said his retirement
from Odds and Ends in June was just another job done and
''In some ways, I'll miss it. But in other ways, there's
always something else to do.
''I'm not sad. The time's just come.
''I've been through it a few times now. Something else will
Mr Chalmers has sat on a chair outside the store almost every
day for the past 16 years, welcoming customers looking for
second-hand and collectable goods.
The store is a treasure trove of Teal, Temuka, Benhar and
Crown Lynn pottery, silverware, china, furniture, books,
sheet music, records and art.
And while it had taken many years to build up the stock, Mr
Chalmers gave his assurance it was all ''just a hobby''.
When asked what he would miss most about his latest job, he
stroked his beard and said nothing and everything.
''Because it's so ingrained in me. I'm not sure what I'll
miss most about this place.
''I guess one of the things I will miss is the excitement of
finding something unusual - something in a box that you don't
think will be there.''
He recalled once buying a painting at an auction for $4.
''It was ugly. But I saw a signature on it, which turned out
to be a signed Salvador Dali print.
''I got it for $4 but I later found out it was worth $170.''
Had it been a limited edition, it could have been worth
$7000, he said.
He was still happy with the $170 he pocketed, and the best
part was the adrenaline rush he got from the experience.
Mr Chalmers said it was tenacity which brought him back to
the store each day, but failing health was beginning to take
its toll and he believed he was no longer able to do the job
He will retire in June, soon after his 78th birthday, and the
store will be closed.
''My back's not what it used to be. I have trouble lifting
heavy stuff about.''
He hopes to do some gardening and fishing in his retirement -
''all the things you should do in retirement''.