John & Ben Kennewell, father and son at Kennards Hire in Adelaide

 

At Kennards Hire, we pride ourselves on being a family company, and we have our fair share of fathers and sons working for us.

Take John and Ben Kennewell in South Australia. John is Manager of our Adelaide City Branch, while son Ben works at the Concrete Care Branch in Keswick.

John’s been working at Kennards Hire for the past 17 years, and son Ben is one of six kids — four boys, including twins, and two girls. Ben says it’s his “littlest sister” who manages Father’s Day activities in the Kennewell Household:

“She organises it all. Dad’s lucky because he’s got six kids so he gets a half decent gift. We go around and hang out with him, it’s a good family day.”

Ben says John is easy to get on with — “That’s one of his best assets” — and easy to talk to. “We’ve got a big family, so I think that helps a lot. We’re always talking, and Dad’s always been there for me.” 

Family values at the forefront

Most years Kennards Hire has a Family Day and Ben says it’s things like this that make it a good place to be - proof of point: two of his brothers have worked there as well.

“They care about their workers,” he says. “I’ve worked for other businesses, tree lopping, scaffolding, doing these hard yakka jobs where you’d expect people to treat you a bit better… Kennards Hire has always treated me well; even the simple things they do, like this story, are just wicked. Their values as well, they mean something. It’s definitely the company to be in, that’s for sure.”

Apart from being a concrete genius, Ben is a world-class pool player. After spending his early teens picking up tips from Dr. Cue on video, he represented Australia in Las Vegas, aged 18. His teacher was Australian 9 Ball Champion Phil Reilly. Now 29, Ben competed again two years ago and won a second trip to Las Vegas, but an imminent addition to his family kept him nice and close to home.

The pool shark and the fish tank story

John takes up the story of how his son’s talent almost won him a prize 300kg fish tank. It happened when John and Ben went to pick up the 2.7 metre, 1,300 litre tank from the seller, who was in a wagering mood.

“The bloke selling the tank was talking about how good his son was at pool,” John remembers. “He said, ‘Why don’t we have a challenge: my son against your son for twenty bucks a corner?’ I said, ‘I’ll make a deal with you: we play your son against mine, best out of nine for the fish tank, or I pay you double.’ Long story short, he declined!

"He must have suspected something was up. We didn’t mention it again until we got the tank home, where my son beat his son 8-1. Ben let him win the last one because he felt sorry for him!”

When he’s not hustling for fish tanks on the mean streets of Adelaide, John keeps things running smoothly at the Adelaide City Branch. For the father of six, it’s the family atmosphere and sense of shared values that keeps him happy at work.

“What I like best about working at Kennards Hire is helping people out and seeing them coming back with a smile on their dial,” he says. “Some people are quite confident, while others are a bit timid. You just have to reassure them that they can do it and give them the right advice.”

The Kennewells are not the only father/son team at Kennards Hire, there are plenty of them, including Andy Kennard and his kids; Gus, Rory, Kirsty and Cam! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, and the ones filling the dad role in so many ways. Whatever you are doing, from our family to yours, enjoy YOUR day!