Torquay-based accountant John Doherty enjoys his occasional stint flipping burgers at Kermond’s Snack Bar. 090104GW43Picture: GLEN WATSONJOHN Doherty is one man who is happy to swap a suit and tie for a greasy apron.For the past 20 years the former Warrnambool man has travelled back to his home town to flip burgers at Kermond’s Snack Bar.Working in Torquay as an accountant, Mr Doherty said he did not mind the drive back to the ‘Bool.”It’s great. I’m an old Warrnambool boy so it’s a good way to catch up with old mates,” Mr Doherty told The Standard.He started working at the well-known hamburger bar as a 15-year-old back in 1986. The then high school student used to peel and cut onions out the back.”That’s where everyone starts. I did that for about two years . . . there were a few tears. “But it was a lot of fun.”Mr Doherty then progressed to the grill and it wasn’t too long before he learnt the art of cooking the perfect hamburger, for which Kermond’s has become famous. He said what started as an after-school job helped pay his way while studying for a degree at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus.Although work took him to Melbourne after graduating, he found it hard to hang up his apron. So he would do the odd shift at the snack bar, filling in for owners Robert Kermond and Brett Healey or helping train up-and-coming hamburger chefs.”It just sort of went on from there. Then in 2001 I moved back to Warrnambool for a while and I would work there on Monday nights,” he said.Accounting took him away from Warrnambool 18 months ago but his flexible arrangements with management means he still flips the odd burger on weekends.”I probably do a shift about once a month. It’s not overly regular. I really enjoy it. It’s very relaxing and you get to see so many old faces walk through the door,” he said.Kermond’s co-owner Mr Healey heaped praise on Mr Doherty, describing him as “one of Warrnambool’s most eligible bachelors”.”He is a top bloke. He does everything out of the kindness of his heart,” Mr Healey said.”You just throw him the keys and you can go away and spend some time with your family.”Mr Doherty plans to move back to Warrnambool later this month.
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.