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WASM technician gives 50 years and a day

Josh Chiat Kal Miner
Around 2500 students have passed through the front doors at the WA School of Mines’ Egan Street campus since Lewis Pannell started his career as a lab technician there on February 5, 1968.
But after 50 years and one day in the same job, Curtin University and WASM’s longest serving employee will retire today, Tuesday 6 of Feb 2018. Celebrating his 68th birthday on the weekend Mr Pannell said he was
driven by his passion for the mining college and proud of the influence he had on graduates, who, today, are some of the most powerful faces in Australia’s mining industry.
“I feel very privileged to think that I’ve been able to influence those guys and they were very, very successful business people,” he said. “All heads of mining, all heads of various companies. “I’m a bit emotional. Those graduates include his son, Dean, who left WASM with a degree in metallurgy in 1999. Originally from South Australia, Mr Pannell came to Kalgoorlie as a teenager when his father arrived in town to work with Western Mining and signed
up to work as a lab technician in the school’s physics department just days after turning 18. Since then he has become part of the furniture.