Life lessons stand test of time

Eric Lundquist, at his home in Brooklands Village, Mosgiel, reads through letters received from...
Eric Lundquist, at his home in Brooklands Village, Mosgiel, reads through letters received from children he sponsors. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Eric Lundquist has never regretted his decision to retire in Mosgiel.

The 95-year-old moved to Mosgiel with his late wife Dorothy in 1981 on his retirement from Fulton Hogan.

''We've been here ever since.''

Retirement failed to slow Mr Lundquist down. After decades with Fulton Hogan, he continued directorship roles with the company, finally clocking up 54 years with the company.

But civil construction and infrastructure was not Mr Lundquist's first choice or his second.

He started out as a mechanic and had begun theological studies when World War 2 broke out and the call came for more mechanics in the Middle East.

But it was in the war in the Pacific where he ended up, serving three years overseas, including in Guadalcanal and New Caledonia, and one year in New Zealand helping keep the war effort going.

Coming back to New Zealand, he realised he did not like working inside and a suggestion from his father led him to go to work for Bob Hogan.

A few years later, he went into business with Jules Fulton and Mr Hogan, and then they amalgamated the companies into Fulton Hogan Holdings.

In 1968, he became general manager, then 10 years later managing director.

He learnt important lessons from Mr Fulton and Mr Hogan that stood the test of time, including that people were important and the cornerstone of the business.

The hard work of the company's employees was what made it a success, as was the support of the wives and families who put up with their men being away for long periods of time, he said.

''It was a vital part of our achievements.''

While he considered going back to his theological studies after the war, he decided getting married and settling down was more important.

But that did not stop Mr Lundquist from keeping a close interest in mission work throughout the years, especially through World Vision and Tear Fund. He still supports eight children that way.

''It's great to see how the kids get the life skills they need and the work done on gender equality in India and Bangladesh.''

Since moving to Mosgiel, they had been committed members of the East Taieri Presbyterian Church and supporters of its community focus.

The couple, who had lived in Gladstone Rd, moved to Brooklands Village 19 years ago. Mrs Lundquist died in 2012.

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