Tenor sings last song with Westfield
“I am obviously fiercely proud of Westfield I saw it singing and know it’s got the ability to sing again. ”
Former commercial manager of Westfield works, Bill spoke with conviction on the eve of his February retirement, ending 45 years of service with W & R Fletcher.
He recalled the tremendous change Westfield had undergone since the days when a person could walk into the works and see almost every trade represented.
“We even had a cooper then, because there was a tremendous business in kegs, in which brined meat was shipped to West Africa, the West Indies and all over the world. Tallow was also sent in kegs or drums.
“In those days, we also had a box factory, a smallgoods business, one of the finest canneries in the Southern Hemisphere and a large wholesale trade to butchers,” Bill said.
“Everyone was really busy – Westfield used to sing…and we have the management structure to allow it to sing again.”
Bill worked in AFFCO Southdown’s clerical and costings department from 1935 to 1939, before joining Westfield. In 1941 he joined the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force, serving in the Middle East and Italy until 1945.
After recuperating from an injury sustained in Italy, Bill was back working in Westfield’s costing department. He then became head of the test department and, later, head of costing.
A period of selling meat to retail outlets in the Auckland district followed, then in 1972 Bill set up and became head of the quality control department. Two years later he became commercial manager, in charge of Westfield’s retail shops and commercial activities a position which held until his retirement.
And while Bill will be no longer; a familiar face at the Westfield works, his life will be just as busy. He and his wife Josepha are noted for their long-standing involvement with the community particularly with children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Aside from four children of their own, one of whom was adopted seven years ago, the couple has fostered “six or seven” other children over the years.
In a Westfield shop chiller during Commercial Manager, Mr Bill Forsman’s last week with the company are (left to right): Westfield Shop Manager, Mr Dan Stewart; Auckland Meat Company Manager, Mr George Stewart; Mr Bill Forsman.
End of service
Bill Forsman was not the only staff member to retire recently. The following former employees also left W & R Fletcher after long service with the company:
Keith Stephens, Kaiti, retired in December 1984 after over 40 years’ service with the company. For the last 10 years, Mr Stephens was foreman in charge of the wool department.
Kevin Bryant, accounts clerk, Tomoana, joined the company in 1937 and retired on February 25, 1985.
Ray Kennerley, foreman in charge of abattoir, Tomoana, joined the company in 1952 and retired on March 5.
Eric Reay, clerk, Tomoana, joined the company in 1954 and retired on January 23, 1985.
Bill Le Grys, preventative engineer, Tomoana, joined the company in 1977 and retired on December 31, 1984.
Jack Longville, shop manager, Auckland Meat Company, joined the company in 1944 and retired on December 13, 1984.
Bill Bowman, sales representative with New Zealand Stock- foods Co, joined the company in 1970 and retired on December 1, 1984.
Gold Star awarded
One hundred and fifty people recently attended the celebration of Tomoana Industrial Fire Brigade Deputy Chief Officer Reg Unwin’s 25 years’ service.
Mr Unwin received a Gold Star, made a Life Honorary Member of the brigade and was presented with a lapel badge and tie from the Wellington Provincial Gold Star Association. Mr Unwin’s wife, Diane, received the association’s Gold Star brooch.
General Manager of Tomoana Works, Mr Michael Sanders, made a presentation to Mr Unwin in recognition of his services to the company, followed by the presentation of a pair of silver goblets by ex-Chief Fire Officer Neil Wood on behalf of the brigade.
Mr Sanders also presented other service awards to the following firemen: L Davidson, 15-year Silver Bar; B O’Shaughnessy, 21-year Silver Bar; S Taylor, 31-year Gold Bar; D WiIlis, 37-year Gold Bar.
Photo caption – The official party at Mr Unwin’s 25-year service celebration was (left to right); ex-Chief Fire Officer Lew [Lou] Jillings, Chief Fire Officer Syd Taylor, Diane Unwin, Deputy Chief Fire Officer Reg Unwin, Past-President Ernie Beale, General Manager Michael Sanders, ex-Chief Fire Officer Neil Wood.
Tomoana’s top team
The quadrangular tournament for the W & R Fletcher Cricket Shield was held in Rotorua recently, with the Tomoana team taking home the shield.
Play was abandoned on the Saturday due to rain, so a darts and indoor bowls tournament was held to determine who would play last year’s winners, Westfield, in the Sunday final.
Tomoana carried on its winning streak from the previous day to “soundly beat” Westfield, with the latter’s performance being attributed to the lack of opportunity for an earlier practice.
Meanwhile the Head Office team turned in a consistent performance in its match against Kaiti to retain the Wooden Spoon award.
And while the results of the P & O vs W & R Fletcher golf tournament at Martinborough, or the Head Office Marrieds vs Singles cricket tournament held in late March were not known by publication date, it is understood both were to be keenly contested.
Mr Dennis Frederickson rejoins WRF after five years in the Weddel London office as Casings Manager. He has joined the Export Sales Department, initially responsible for administrative functions of the Monarch Meat Marketing Association.