End of an era for dealer

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantThe West Australian

A huge crowd attended the WD Moore "end of an era" closure sale last week in O'Connor.

For more than 400 registered buyers, including agents, repairers and pastoralists, it was an opportunity to say farewell and stock up on windmill repair parts and workshop machinery.

General manager Geoff Moore, 62, who became part of the more than 150-year-old family business when he was 15, said he had no regrets, except for the employees and clients.

"I am at peace to move on with my life," he said.

In the world of windmills, WD Moore manufactured what was regarded as one of the world's best - the Yellow Tail windmill.

Mr Moore said the Yellow Tail was one of the longest-lasting windmills in the world and was made in Western Australia.

He said a business deal with Pan Asian Holdings, which bought 51 per cent of the company in 2011, was negotiated to move all windmill manufacturing to China.

"We were seduced by some of their grand business plans," he said.

Mr Moore said administrators were called in, which resulted in 15 staff losing their jobs and a sell-off of all workshop inventories, but declined to comment on the reasons behind the administration process.

He said he was overwhelmed by the number of past clients who turned up to have a yarn about old times.

Jack Bennett, or "Windmill Jack", said he had known the Moore family for half a century, as did agent Ian Wheller.

Meekatharra pastoralist Harvey Nicholls, of Sherwood station, said the Moore family was always reliable when parts were needed.

Mr Nicholls said he bought a treasure trove of rare Aermotor windmill bits and pieces.

"Enough to keep the windmills pumping another 80 or so years," he said.

WD Moore sales and production manager Rick Warner-Jones said while it was the end of WA manufacturing, a meeting with Pan Asian Holdings two days before the sale determined distribution outlet for water pumping equipment would be established.

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