A good-natured Paraparaumu Beach man with an interesting and varied work career has retired in style.
More than 100 people attended the retirement party of Paul Berryman at his Beechwood Close home on Friday.
The party for Paul, 54, a friendly, kind and hands-on person, had a deeper meaning because he has retired because of health reasons.
"I just need to sit back and put my feet up."
There was lots of good conversation, laughter, live music as well as food and refreshments at the party.
"It was fantastic," Paul said.
"Everyone enjoyed it and it went on into the early hours.
"And a mate of mine, Matt Scott, flew in from Sydney for it, which was a surprise."
Paul started work part-time at the age of 11 at a Woolworths store in Hamilton before becoming a manager of a McDonald's store, also in Hamilton, when he left school at the age of 17.
After moving to Wellington he worked at Hertz car hire at Wellington Airport, and would meet his future wife Lisa Carter on a blind date. The couple celebrate 30 years of marriage on May 14.
Paul then got involved in a waterbed business also in Wellington.
"Most people know me from the waterbed days, back in the 80s, I was Mr Waterbed."
Paul, who likes to play a practical joke or two, then set up the Mr Sweep franchises.
"I sold them off about 15 years ago I suppose."
The couple owned a tomato growing business in Otaki for about four years. The business, called Berrymans, was rated one of the best tomato growing operations Practical Hydroponics and Greenhouses magazine's Steven Carruthers had seen in 60 countries he was familiar with.
"That was a very good achievement," Paul said.
Then he got into property developing for about five years — buying houses, doing them up, selling them, before getting into real estate.
"Eddie Winkel, from Professionals, got me into real estate. He said I should put a suit and tie on and get out of my gumboots."
Paul, who has been involved in the real estate industry for over 15 years, had loved meeting people and helping them get into their new homes.
"It has been a challenge but I've really enjoyed it."