Worker gifted diamond ring for 50 years of service at same Auckland store

An 87-year-old worker has been gifted a diamond ring after reaching half a century of working at Timmermans jeweller.

Your playlist will load after this ad

Joan Rutherford, 87, has worked for Timmermans jewellers in Auckland since 1969. Source: Seven Sharp

Joan Rutherford began working at Timmermans in 1969 after her car broke down.

"The whole engine blew up and we had to replace our car, didn't have the money, so I began looking around for part time work," she told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp. 

"I really was only going to stay until we got a new car. But here I am, somehow, still 50 years later.”

Ms Rutherford's boss is Stephen Timmerman, the son of Math Timmerman, who hired Ms Rutherford in 1969. But he says he doesn't think he's the boss to Joan.

"Stephen wasn't quite two years old," Ms Rutherford said of first meeting her boss. "I would take him with me and buy him ice cream and I always say to him, he owes me big time. All those ice creams I bought him."

And now, after 50 years of work, she's been gifted a diamond ring.

"She always encouraged us as a family and the staff to always just do your best," Stephen said. "To put your best foot forward for that day and do the best you could possibly do.

"She is the family."

Watch the full story in the video above.