STAFF at a well-established aquatics centre in Bury St Edmunds said goodbye to one of its longest serving employees last week.
Barbara Wallis had worked for John Allan Aquariums, based on the Eastern Way Industrial Estate, for almost 42 years when she retired on Friday.
The 68-year-old, from Icklingham, was presented with an engraved carriage clock and a bouquet of flowers by Allan Riley, the company’s managing director.
He said: “Barbie will be missed by all of us - she is a lovely lady, a good friend and a great co-worker who is highly respected in the trade and has helped make John Allan’s the success it is today.”
Barbara said: “I was very emotional - I couldn’t speak and that’s very unusual for me. I loved the job - it’s a small family firm and over the years they’ve been very kind to me.”
Her husband’s retirement from the same firm last month is, what she says, gave her the ‘final push’ towards retirement.
She and husband Andy have already started planning a holiday next year, when they plan to visit friends and family in Australia and New Zealand.
The retiree said that she intends to spend time knitting and gardening and will stay in touch with the John Allan team. “They are friendships I don’t want to sever,” she said.