Forty years ago on a cold February morning a nervous 15-year-old teenager who had just left school started her first job as a junior showroom assistant with the Douglas Gaslight Company in Victoria Street, Douglas.
Today Sue McCoubrey is still with the same company - now Manx Gas – where she is customer service supervisor in the finance division and one of five recipients to receive a long service award from managing director Tony Nicholls.
Another employee who has notched up four decades is Billy Callister who joined as a distribution labourer and is now a storeman in the commercial division.
Andrew Scarffe, whose role is now technical support in the finance division, started with the company 30 years ago as a daywork clerk.
While meter readers John McFaul and Andy MacFarlane have been with the company a mere 20 years.
Sue McCoubrey speaks for all five when she describes the working environment as ‘like having grown up with a family’.
good at maths
She added: ‘We all genuinely enjoy what we do, but when I started there were no computers and calculators, you added everything up in your head and receipts were written out which meant you had to be pretty good at maths.
‘I can remember being told off by my then boss because he said my 3’s and 5’s were squiggles and looked too alike.’
In congratulating all five Mr Nicholls said: ‘It is particularly gratifying to recognise such outstanding loyalty to the company and the commitment you have given in your different roles over the years during which time you have seen many changes in working practices but readily adapted to them.’