SUCCESSFUL: Ipswich optometrist Ross Kent is retiring after 51 years in Ellenborough St.
SUCCESSFUL: Ipswich optometrist Ross Kent is retiring after 51 years in Ellenborough St. Rob Williams

51 years in the CBD sees optometrist eyeing off retirement

IPSWICH optometrist Ross Kent will call it a day today after 51 years in the same CBD shop.

Mr Kent built up a loyal following of customers during his time running the shop at 15 Ellenborough St, with some staying true for the duration of his five decades in the Top of Town.

Keen to enjoy his retirement but equally sentimental about leaving his life's work behind, Mr Kent told the Queensland Times he believed his attitude towards his customers was what built up his solid base.

"Quite a number of them kept coming back here for more than 50 years," he said.

"It was because they liked the treatment they had.

"I sent out a letter to a few of my regular customers and I have been fortunate to get a lot coming in to wish me all the best."

It was Mr Kent's mother who originally planted the idea in his head to pursue a career in optometry.

The family was living in Mt Isa at the time but regularly travelled to Brisbane for visits to the optometrist.

He started studying in 1961, but marked a pivotal moment in his life in 1963 when he became a Christian.

"That changed my attitude to how I treat people," he said.

Alan Cossart started the shop that Mr Kent took over in April, 1967. He did not look back from there, eventually getting married and raising his four children in Ipswich.

"Yes it has been successful and supported me for a lot of years, but things have deteriorated lately, partly because of what has happened in the centre of town, which has pretty much had it," he said.



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