Hospital switchboard worker Ken Davison had a special send-off as he celebrated 50 years in the same job – without taking a single day off sick.
Colleagues at the Leeds General Infirmary threw a surprise party for Ken yesterday as he celebrated his 65th birthday, his last day on the job and 50 years of working at the hospital.
Alison Dailly, director of informatics at Leeds General Infirmary, said: “Ken knew where everybody and everything was, so if you wanted to know anything, you would go to Ken.”
Back in 1964, at the age of just 15, Ken took a job as a messenger boy at the hospital, delivering parcels, mail and specimens.
His first wage packet came in at £3, six shillings and four pence.
He then got a job on the hospital switchboard, which was an old plug board with 350 extensions, joining a team of just four staff.
Grandfather-of-one Ken, from Tingley, said: “I’ve enjoyed working here but the main thing is the people that I work with.
“They have all been nice to me over the years. I’ve met some great friends.
“Things have changed a lot whilst I’ve been here – there are thousands of extensions now rather than the 350 when I started.” Speaking about his impressive sickness record, Ken said: “I eat a lot of fruit. A banana at breakfast, an apple at lunch and an orange at lunch or dinner.”
He added he was looking forward to having a lie-in and some rest after his retirement.
Charlie D’Angelo of Clifton, New Jersey, USA, has been an ice-cream man for over 30 years in his Iggy’s Igloo ice-cream truck.
The longest career as a postal worker was 53 years and 48 days and was achieved by Takashi Miyaoka from Japan, who worked at the Shinjuku postal office in Tokyo.
Clarice J. Kramer Cadarette Grenkowicz from the USA has the Guinness World Record for the longest career as a bartender after working at the Maplewood Tavern in Michigan for 71 years.