Final cut: veteran barber prepares to call it a day

Peter Bruce is calling curtains on a 65-year career as a barber, 35 of which have been spent in Tumut.

After 65 years as a barber and 35 years of practising his trade in Tumut, Peter Bruce is calling it quits.

Peter, who is 80, is stepping down due to health issues.

“My legs are gone,” he said.

His last working day will be Tuesday, June 30.

Peter started his career as a 15-year-old apprentice at his father’s barber shop in Baylis Street, Wagga Wagga on September 15, 1955.

He left Wagga in 1975 and spent time in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and elsewhere in South Queensland.

“My folks were getting on so I decided to move back to the (Wagga) area,” he said.

After a short stint in Junee, an opportunity popped up in Tumut.

“I heard Dossie Carr had retired so I set up shop down at the hub (in Wynyard Street),” Peter said.

His first day was February 28, 1985, and he remembers his first client; Richard Woolcott.

“The late John Marzol worked here as well,” Peter said.

“Twenty-eight years ago I moved to this shop (in Russell Street) and the rest is history.”

Peter says Tumut has been very good to him.

“I bought a house in Tumut 25 years ago,” he said.

“This is a good town. I’ve made a lot of good friends. Lots of people come to me and even more now that we’ve got another electrical store open. I’ve got a lot of clients and I know their first names but not their second names.”

Both residents and visitors have made up his clientele over the years.

“I’ve got quite a few regulars who are tourists,” he said.

“Timber is the main industry in town and tourism is second.”

He’s going to miss all the interaction he has with people in his job.

“People talk about all aspects of life,” he said.

“Some people have talked out their inner-most secrets, and what is said in the barber shop stays in the barber shop.”