Iconic business celebrates its 50th anniversary

There are few faces more familiar to long-term Camden residents than David Funnell's.

The passionate local has been a staple in the community since he started his business, Funnell's Electrical, back in 1969.

Now, the former councillor and two-time Camden Citizen of the Year is ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the business he founded in style.

Funnell's Electrical is holding a special car park cocktail party to honour the milestone and celebrate Mr Funnell's retirement after he sold the business to long-time employee Adam Archer in recent years.

Mr Funnell, now in his 70s, said he was honoured to have served the community for so many years.

"When I look back over my shoulder, it's all the apprentices that we've taken through that makes me the most proud," he said.

"There were 67 apprentices that completed their entire apprenticeship with Funnell's over about 45 years - that doesn't even include the people that only did part of their apprenticeship with us.

"People used to say, "you're training up your opposition", but I think it was all for the better."

Mr Funnell said he never could have imagined the business growing to its current size - with 14 electrical workers and three office staff - when he started it as a 24-year-old.

The man who started it all: David Funnell is excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Funnell's Electrical this week. Picture: Chris Lane

The man who started it all: David Funnell is excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Funnell's Electrical this week. Picture: Chris Lane

"Camden was a small town back then, the chook industry was big and there was some mining," he said.

"It's very different now, the area's grown so big and there are different jobs. It's an ever-changing place."

Mr Funnell said "every day was a Monday" at the start of Funnell's Electrical's run, because he worked seven days a week.

He is confident current owner Mr Archer will continue to build on Funnell's strong reputation.

"My god yes - he'll definitely keep everything going smoothly, he's very enthusiastic," Mr Funnell said.

Mr Archer said it was strange to think that he was now around the same age his former boss was when he started his apprenticeship more than 25 years ago.

"Now I'm the old stress-head and he's retired," Mr Archer said.

"Funnell's has always been known as a strong local business, everyone in Camden has dealt with Funnell's or known someone who's been an apprentice here.

"I hope to keep the business going strong for another 50 years."

Mr Archer said the 50th anniversary celebrations also gave employees and long-term customers the chance to give Mr Funnell the send-off he truly deserved - "even if we are five years behind".