Will bids a fond farewell after 34 years in Greens

A FAMILIAR face will be missing from Greens Foodfare in Bow Street after a long serving employee retired last week after over 34 years of service.

Mr Will Murdoch, 69, worked as a driver/storeman for the supermarket since the 1970s.

Will, who lives on the Old Hillsborough Road, started his working life at the age of 18 for Ruthersfords Grocers, which was in Market Square. He worked there for over 16 years before moving to Greens in 1977 when Mr Black Senior was the boss.

Reflecting on his time at Greens, Will said: “It was very small when I first started there but then over the years shops closed nearby or re-located and Greens took them over to expand the store. They took over Margaret Brown’s wool shop and the Redmond Jeffersons’ hardware shop as well as JC Pattersons old shop.”

Will continued: “I always enjoyed my work. They were good to work for and I made a lot of friends. There’s other staff who have been there a long time too - the staff do seem to stay.

“I went part time at 65 but to be honest I just felt now that I had worked long enough and it was time to retire.”

Will said he enjoyed meeting the customers on his deliveries. “There was always someone to chat to, be it in store or when I was out delivering shopping. I was always out and about and you really got to know a lot of people over the years.”

Will said he has witnessed many changes over the years both in technology and in the development of Lisburn. “The difference in vehicles they have now for delivering the food is very different to when I first started out in a Volkswagen van which had an engine in the back. Power assisted steering made all the difference.

“The roads have got so busy these days and it took me so much longer to do my runs compared to the early days.”

Will was presented with a retirement gift from Mr Rowan Black last Friday and received lots of cards, presents and well wishes from staff and customers.

He said: “I would like to thank everyone who gave me gifts. I’m sure it won’t take me too long to adjust to all the time I have now.

“I’ve spent the last few weeks showing another member of staff the ropes,” he explained. “I was sad thinking about leaving but now I am glad to have some time to myself. I have plenty of grass to cut and I am looking forward to lying in and going for walks and visiting family.”