Bedford celebrates staff on International Day of People with Disability

SIXTY-YEARS: Craig Gerschwitz, Paul Dunn, Jade Parfitt, Geoff Varney and Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty at the awards. Absent: Seth Carey.
SIXTY-YEARS: Craig Gerschwitz, Paul Dunn, Jade Parfitt, Geoff Varney and Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty at the awards. Absent: Seth Carey.

Five local employees were honoured by Bedford recently for their combined 60 years of dedication to the company and their work in the community.

Bedford’s Year of Service Awards were held on December 3 to coincide with the International Day of People with Disability, with this year’s theme of empowerment, inclusiveness and equality.

Craig Gerschwitz was one of the recipients celebrated for his 10 years of service. 

He joined Bedford after suffering an acquired brain injury following a horrific boating accident in 2000.

“You get used to it and you work with it,” he said on his life after the accident.

“All of these people are my friends, they’re so friendly and nice… I wish everyone was like them.”

The 49-year-old said after his accident he was in a coma for a month and had to learn to do everything again, including walking and talking.

Mr Gerschwitz was a marine maintenance engineer before the accident and continues to work in aquaculture with Bedford making octopus traps.

Geoff Warney was also honoured for 20 years of service, along with Paul Dunn, Jade Parfitt and Seth Carey for their 10 years of employment with Bedford.

Port Lincoln mayor Brad Flaherty helped present the awards and said the recipients were significant contributors to the community.

He said over the years he looked forward to when he ran into Bedford employees working along the foreshore.

Mr Flaherty said that it also helped raise awareness of the workers honing their skills to the benefit of the community.

Bedford has 22 sites across Australia that for more than 65 years have helped change the lives of people with disability by building their skills to participate in the community through employment and social participation activities.