Russwood bid a sad but fond farewell to its longest serving member of staff last week. Clocking up an impressive 32 year continuous period of employment with us, Willie Ritchie has decided to retire.
His career within Russwood began after a chance meeting with John Russell, who offered Willie a lift as he was hitching up to Inverness to visit his new-born son! Starting with the very physical and demanding role of coal breaker, his roles within the company have adapted as Russwood has, spanning coal delivery (as far afield as Fort William); production in the round post plant (fencing materials); treatment plant operator, yard supervisor and finally rounding off his impressive resume as an essential member of the team within the flooring department.
This has been his most defining role, and the one he will be most sorely missed in. With duties encompassing quality control; order receiving, packaging and sending; stock management; sample oiling; and not forgetting operating and maintaining our woodchip boiler system, he has proved invaluable to the day to day operation of what is proving to be a very successful aspect of our business. We daresay it will be a long time yet before we remember that “Willie can’t do that – because he isn’t here!”
The weather blessed us with sunshine for his send off, and all staff enjoyed saying good bye at a traditional Russwood BBQ held rather fittingly on site – at the flooring yard! Past and present employees joined in wishing him well in his retirement, and in conjunction with a thank you speech by John, presented Willie and his wife Tessa with a few thoughtful gifts to show our appreciation of his input throughout the years. Proving that old habits die hard, Willie, obviously forgetting that he no longer had to, took advantage of the impromptu appearance of a delivery driver to carry his last flooring order out to the waiting van.
We wish him a long and happy retirement filled with laughter, happiness and most importantly, time to enjoy his interests –maybe even a new career as a line-dancing supremo beckons!
All the best Willie, from all of us at Russwood. We will miss you.
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