Holy smokes Batman, the end of 2020 couldn’t come soon enough! It’s been a year of unprecedented challenges across the globe and caused most of us to look at life differently — but there’s also a lot to be celebrated, as Ramsey Bros Managing Director Mark Ward recalls.
“2020’s been a year with a lot of uncertainty and when you look back at February and March, it very much felt like things were crashing on multiple levels. We couldn’t be luckier though in SA and although there has been a lot of heartache for many, we’ve been very fortunate here.
“From a business perspective, Ramsey Bros has dealt with extra complexities of the pandemic but we’re fortunate to work in an industry that’s considered an essential service which meant we didn’t face shutdowns or having any job losses.
“We’ve all felt the same frustrations of being confined and we’ve had delays from overseas suppliers which we mitigated by getting extra stock and parts to have on hand and we’ve done our best to support the local community to minimise downtime. Overall, most farmers have finished harvest ahead of Christmas and it will be a really welcome time to spend with loved ones.
“One of biggest ways we’ve had to adapt as a business has been moving online with all our meetings and that’s been a bit stretch for some. Many have come a long way, but inevitably, there have been bucketloads of stuff ups — speakers being left on when people thought they were on mute; family members walking into the room during a serious conversation; others thinking their camera’s off and sneaking in a bite to eat in front of all of their colleagues. And of course, lots of panicky calls two minutes into a meeting when someone can’t figure out how to join a meeting despite the huge button saying ‘Join meeting’ on the screen,” Mark laughs.
“Being part of small towns, we’ve felt the anxiety of wanting to protect our neighbours and friends and no one wanted to be the person to bring the virus into our areas. We watched as small towns overseas were brought to their knees very quickly, and we all felt the impact of knowing if it got into our area, it would be our friends, neighbours and family members who would get sick.
“There was concern for those closer to Adelaide and in Riverton and Murray Bridge, especially after the outbreak in Barossa but we’re proud of how everyone in our circles did their part to help reduce the risk and followed advice from health professionals.
“Probably the biggest disruption for our communities has been the absence of sport. We know that footy, netball, cricket, golf and tennis is the lifeblood of many of our small rural towns and we’ve really missed that social interaction and lifestyle.
“It’s been awesome to see more and more people spending time with family and taking stock of what really matters. And there’s a hell of a lot more people going camping and exploring what’s in their own backyard. It’s a great reminder of just how lucky we are here in SA and what incredible things we have on offer.
“It’s also been awesome to see everyone supporting their local butchers, supermarkets and producers and shopping local. Without the focus of holidaying overseas, it’s been great to see more money being pumped into our local economy.
“There’s lots that we’ve missed as a community and I can’t wait to get back to normality. I think we’ll all have a new appreciation for walking the footy or netball at the local club and be able to stand in the front bar and talk crap with all the locals again. All those simple little things in life we took for granted will hold new meaning once we can enjoy them freely again. And in the meantime, we wouldn’t trade going through this all with you. We’re so lucky to have such a strong, supportive community — not just as a business, but as friends.
“Wishing you all a cracking New Year and although 2021 will bring challenges and COVID won’t be gone, there will be plenty of good times and bright days ahead.”