Gary Reid, from Carrickfergus, was thanked for his commitment to Henderson Wholesale over the past 52 years during the event with his family and colleagues, including Martin Agnew, joint managing director and Pat McGarry, logistics director.
Mr McGarry commented; “Gary has been an integral part of the growth of our wholesale operation over the past 52 years and has been with the company throughout some of our most pivotal moments.
“As our longest serving driver, Gary has served communities across Northern Ireland for over 50 years with particular dedication in the past two challenging years to make sure local shops had everything they needed, all the while developing relationships with retailers to further strengthen the business.”
And it’s not just at work where Gary has legendary status. A keen sportsman, Gary played for many local football clubs, including a successful stint with Carrick Rangers where he played in both the Irish Cup Final and the Cup Winners Cup for the team in 1976.
Gary has also been prolific in his fundraising for a range of local charities, most notably the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice. Recently, Gary combined his passion for photography, appreciation for the local countryside and dedication to helping others by producing a 2022 calendar, from which all proceeds will go towards the NI Children’s Hospice.
To date, almost £10,000 has been raised through the sale of the calendar for the charity.
Speaking of his working life with the company, Gary commented; “working with a business like the Henderson Group affords you so many opportunities and I have so many highlights from my 52-year career, including meeting Prince Charles on his visit to Henderson Group headquarters, and being invited to officially open SPAR Fortfield when it opened in 2018. It was a real signature store for the group and it was an honour to cut the ribbon on behalf of the company and my own Carrickfergus community.
“Having been with Henderson Wholesale for 52 years, I have witnessed so much growth and change, which has been a privilege to be a part of.
“Signing off with a celebratory lunch with my colleagues and leaders that I’ve shared these experiences with has been a great way to mark my retirement.”