Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Pascale will notch up 50 years as a qualified hairdresser this year, having worked in the same salon since he was 16.

After getting tired of picking beans, Joe started his hairdressing career as an apprentice in the salon that his two sisters, Elina and Elizabeth owned, and he would go on to purchase the business a couple of years later.

Joe, who turns 66 this year, is the owner of Joe’s Hair Craft in Eighth Street and he said it has been an enjoyable five decades doing something he finds relaxing.

“Nothing is really hard about it. I suppose because I have been at it for so long, I just find it relaxing,” Joe said.

“People say “Do you love it?” I don’t know that I love it, but it is enjoyable and you get to meet a lot of nice people, many of whom have become friends over the years.

“I commenced my apprenticeship here in 1972 and took over the operation of the salon while I was still an apprentice and I had to employ a senior hairdresser because you weren’t allowed to own it as an apprentice.”

Joe’s daughter Tia Kilaris has followed in her father’s footsteps and works alongside him in the salon while she also studies to become a primary school teacher.

Tia said that she had planned a surprise party for her father to mark the milestone, but that coronavirus lockdown put paid to that.

“We had this surprise planned and I cried when I told him that we had to cancel it,” Tia said.

“Some of our clients were going to make a cake and some personalised cookies and we had a lot of lovely food and drinks organised and then the snap lockdown was announced.
“We had also invited some of his old staff members, and on the quiet, I was inviting clients and friends to come to the salon on Wednesday morning at 11.30.
“Hair salon product supplier Schwarzkopf, sent Joe a congratulatory plaque and a letter acknowledging his achievement and thanking him for his loyal support of their hair care products over many decades which was a nice gesture.”

Joe and his wife Anne married in 1979, after having met in 1974 at the local skating rink in Seventh Street.

The couple had four children – all girls – and so Joe has been surrounded by women all of his married life and now has eight grandchildren and, wait for it – seven girls and one boy!

“They haven’t given me too hard of a time and I think I hold my own pretty well – I give more back that I get I think!” Joe laughingly said.

Joe is no stranger to hard work, and when he was five, he toiled in his family’s market garden and glass houses, picking all manner of vegetables, including beans!

Apart from his hair salon business, Joe also grows lucerne on a four and a half hectare property out of town in Fourteenth Street that he acquired 18 years ago. He’s also an avid property investor.

Second to his family, Joe’s other love, is his Australian Champion Rottweiler Demelza, and her off-spring, who are champions in the making. Before COVID hit, Joe regularly competed in dog shows in Sunraysia and around Australia with great success.

Joe said that being involved in the dog show world is a highly competitive activity.

“It’s a sport – and you go out there to compete – you don’t go out into the ring looking to gain second place!” he said.

”The rules of etiquette are very rigid. If you have an aggressive dog and it shows aggression toward another competitor’s dog or a judge, then you are immediately disqualified from competition and you have to pass a behavioural test before you are allowed back in the ring.”

Prior to developing an interest in breeding and showing dogs, Joe was also involved in the equestrian world and still has a love of horses.

When his children were younger, he was also actively involved in the swimming club throughout the 90s and early 2000s.

“The kids have all had horses at some stage and were very involved in the swimming club and then I became involved with dogs,” he said.

Joe is also an avid cook, and being Italian, is known to make the traditional salamis and the best pasta sauce, which is said to be bellissimo!

Joe loves nothing more than to sit down with the family for an Italian feast and he’s a very proud father who constantly speaks highly of his children and grandchildren.

Congratulations, Joe you’ve done it well!