Mopar man Rob Kersley celebrated for 50 years at Vernon Dodge - and he's never missed a day

50 yrs, never missed a day

Not many people can claim to have stayed at the same job for 50 years.

For Rob Kersley, he bought a car and just stuck around.

On Friday, management at Vernon Dodge celebrated Kersley's remarkable five decades on the job with a staff luncheon and the presentation of a plaque recognizing his long service.

That car that Kersley bought was a 1974 360 Duster – and he's been a Mopar guy ever since.

He was just 17 at the time and had just graduated when he became parts delivery boy.

These days, he drives a modern-tech 2019 Challenger R/T, but he says classic car owners from the local Mopar club will still seek him out behind the parts counter for advice.

General manager Dan Loewen says what's even more remarkable is that Kersley has never missed a day of work in all those years.

"He started work here six months after I was born ... and he's still here!" said Loewen.

"He's probably the most knowledgable Mopar guy in Western Canada."

Owner Brian Johnston said the dealership has a history of several long-term employees of 30 and 40-plus years.

"We inherited him when we bought the dealership 31 years ago," said Johnston.

"You don't see that kind of longevity in this day and age ... you just try and hold on to them and ask 'Can you work one more year?'

"Imagine trying to replace the knowledge of a 50-year employee."

Upon being surprised with his plaque, Kersely joked: "I wish I'd retired 40 years ago!" to laughs from his co-workers.

As to how long he plans to stay, he added: "Well, the lotto jackpot is $70 million tonight..."

Kersley, 68, says the biggest change he's seen since starting has been in the way cars are fixed. "Before, you would repair a part, now you replace it. Everything has a chip in it with all the electronic advances."

Prior to buying that first Dodge that secured his career path, Kersley says he drove "a hand me down '59 Meteor that had been my dad's."

His plaque read: "Thank you for being such a valuable part of our team."

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