This year’s winner is Liam Prendergast who is employed by Ron Gibbons of Mandron Masonry Ltd.
If you had told Liam five years ago that he was going to be the recipient of the Silver Trowel Award he would have laughed in your face. Originally from Ngaruawahia, Liam was a high school star in Rugby League and was scouted by the Junior Warriors to pursue a career as a professional league player. This meant a move to the big smoke of Auckland where, along with the league, Liam was studying toward a Sports & Recreation Qualification.
Liam found his way to Mandron Masonry, and the Brick and Block Industry, through a member of the home stay family he was put with when he moved towns for Rugby League. Five years later, with a National Certificate in Brick & Block Laying behind him, he hasn’t looked back.
Liam was fortunate enough to have an amazing role model to look up to in National Advisory Group Member, Calley Gibbons. Liam says, “I always looked up to Calley and wanted to follow in his footsteps. His work ethic, professionalism and most importantly the Silver Trowel Award.” It’s no surprise that Liam was absolutely thrilled to have Calley present him with the Silver Trowel Award at the World of Masonry Conference. “It just topped off what was such an amazing achievement for me and to have Dad there to see it all was such a great moment for my family,” Liam says.
Liam credits his success in Brick and Block to the wonderful guidance he has received from Ron, Calley and the team at Mandron Masonry Ltd. The scope of jobs Liam has been able to put in his portfolio has left him in good stead to chase his dream of starting his own company and emulate his role model Calley. “My own company would be awesome, but one step at a time,” Liam says. “I am keen to keep learning and then look to give back to the industry by passing on my teachings to the young brick and block layers coming through.”
If you’re looking for a straight answer to a serious question that helps the bottom line, such as who would you employ? you’ll get one if you ask Brad Sandri at Ranger Specialist Coatings.
Jayden Renner-Ellis is the newest Monumental Masonry Apprentice and is employed by Glover Memorials in Wellington.