After 80 colourful years Garth still takes the cake
WHEN Garth Llewellyn saw the number of candles on his birthday cake, he joked that someone should call the fire department.
The well-known Ipswich real estate business owner celebrated his 80th birthday on Sunday.
Mr Llewellyn, who has lived in Ipswich most of his life, is best known in the community as the principal of Action Reality.
But others may recognise him from his time at R.T. Edwards or from the days he used to drive his cab - a cream 215 series Holden - around the city.
At his birthday celebrations held at his home, under a big glass atrium dome he recently built, Mr Llewellyn shared some of his memories about his life growing up in Ipswich.
When Mr Llewellyn was a child, his parents ran a shop in nearby Milbong before moving to the region in the late 1940s where he attended school.
After completing his education, he worked at the East Ipswich Woollen Mills for six months and then undertook an apprenticeship with electrical business R.T. Edwards.
Mr Llewellyn became the company's head of maintenance before moving onto Bonnie Dundee Colliery as a mine electrician.
He then returned to R.T. Edwards and stayed there for another two years before making the decision to buy, and drive, a cab in 1957.
"If you knew me you could ring for my cab - car 23 - and specially request me to drive you somewhere," he said.
"I was doing well until they cut that out and then business began to suffer."
It was in 1959 friend Peter Meyers offered Mr Llewellyn the opportunity to work with him at Jackson and Meyers - one of the oldest and most respected real estate offices of that time.
In 1964, Mr Llewellyn wanted to get into developing as well, so started Action Realty Ipswich and has been in the property game ever since.
The Llewellyn name has become synonymous with Ipswich; from cars to football to real estate.
Flashing his trademark smile, Mr Llewellyn said it was wonderful to see so many turn out for his birthday - some travelling from as far as New South Wales.
"I've travelled the world, but I've always said there is no place like Ipswich," he said.