Why did Aqua Works start? And who was Eric Vandy? We are honouring a legend.
Some of you may remember Eric Vandy? He was doing water filters as a part-time business from 1989 – 2019. Sadly Eric passed away on Easter Saturday, 2021. This is our simple tribute to him, as, without Eric Greenwell Vandy, Aqua Works would not exist today.
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Eric Vandy – the man who got me into water filters in 1999.
I met Eric in 1998 while studying for 12 months. I then went on to work with him as staff for three years at the training facility – Lifeway, in Snells Beach. At this time, Eric was my mentor and constantly challenged me to become a better me.
When Eric had a hip, knee and shoulder replacement in 1999, he asked me to service some of his water filter customers from his part-time business while he recovered. He then said, ‘you’re rather good at this. You should get into water filters’, and that is how it all started!
At that point in this English man’s life, he had not considered working for himself and running a business. It took Eric’s encouragement and training to realise I could marry my engineering skills with water filtration and water pumps. Eric got me set up and then mentored me in business and life, which continued until his passing at Easter 2021.
Passion for people and water
From humble beginnings in 2000 with no customers, I started on my own part-time. We have grown the business ever since and found a passion for working with people and water – who knew!
Eric taught me so many things. As a mentor, a father figure and a typical kiwi bloke, he slowly rounded the edges off a slightly stiff Englishman. He taught me how to fish, hunt, fix boats and fix anything with a bit of no8 wire. More importantly, he taught me how to be a good kiwi bloke. Eric taught me how to treat people well, be a man of faith, love people, forgive and how to relate to the world around me, a world he viewed as created by God.
I am extremely grateful for the many hours he poured into my life over 23 years. Our business wouldn’t be here without him; it is that simple. Everywhere he went, he encouraged people to reach their potential and to start living their dreams. Eric certainly challenged me to and look where we are today.
Today we have six staff members, which means six families locally supported and support our local community.
A peaceful challenger
Eric’s challenge for me and all who knew him is to live a life worth living, to treat people well and with honour, to love and encourage all people and if something isn’t right, change it! Eric was a peaceful challenger; he saw things in people he could help with, and he saw potential in people who sometimes needed confronting to draw out the best. That is how it was with Eric and myself. A fishing trip was never just a fishing trip. A fishing trip was always a ‘check-in’ in my life and a question – how are you doing.
I miss my ole mate, but he left a legacy of love and friendship in my life, my kid’s lives and those around him. He is one who will never be forgotten. You could never forget Eric anyway. He lived too much of a huge life!