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Celebrating a milestone

Seventy years ago I joined the Royal Bank of Canada and during all this time I have either received a salary or a pension.

overcast 12 °C

Shortly after turning seventeen my father decided I was meant for a banking career. It didn't take me long to agree(there was no choice)and on April 23, 1947 the die was cast. But before entering the branch as an employee I had to take arithmetic and spelling examinations. Since the manager who administered the tests stuttered I was worried about the spelling segment but didn't do too badly. Within a few days I was in my element. The young women who had run the branch during the war had stepped back into clerical and stenographic roles to make way for returning soldiers, sailors and airmen. At the time that was expected. And I was the beneficiary because they were terrific and very willing teachers. As a junior clerk I was in charge of the outgoing mail and the stamp box. I also changed all the pen nibs in the straight pens and washed and filled the ink wells. Remember ball point pens didn't really enter everyday use until the 1950's and fountain pens weren't accepted in the bank. Ledgers and customers' passbooks were all completed by hand and good penmanship was absolutely required in a system which balanced books to the cent. After being promoted to ledger-keeper, then teller I was transferred to Welland Ontario as Assistant Accountant where I met Effie Gifford who became my wife in 1951. To steal a phrase from Winston Churchill in his memoir about his early life I lived happily ever after. We raised three children and I had a satisfying and successful career of thirty-seven years followed by the last thirty-three years of a contented retirement in which many of the highlights are covered in this Blog.

What's this all about? Well some time ago I mentioned to the bank's Regional President that it was almost seventy years since I entered the bank. He kept track of the date and invited me to lunch in the Executive dining room to celebrate. My daughter Melinda, who is also a Royal Bank pensioner, said she would like to attend so she came from Quesnel and father and daughter were treated royally. I hadn't been on the Executive floor of Royal Centre since I retired and was thrilled.

We stopped at Royal Fortune Restaurant on our way from the airport

And here we are ready to head for the big celebration.

I thought I should add the picture the bank required when I was hired.

Posted by douglasw 19:34 Archived in Canada

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