The Lord Mayor held a very special lunch on Monday to mark the long service of council employee, Elizabeth Hamilton.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Elizabeth beginning her work for the Council, and a variety of her colleagues and friends gathered to celebrate the occasion.
“I began working life in Lurgan Borough Council on 9th August 1965,” explained Elizabeth. “I worked for eight years in Lurgan and then transferred to Craigavon Borough Council.”
Over the past fifty years, Elizabeth has witnessed a range of changes within the Council - and has also pioneered several major developments, having been heavily involved with the preparation for the Local Government Election to the new Council.
“I started off using a manual typewriter,” shared Elizabeth, “typing stencils for minutes of Council and running these off on a duplicating machine - by hand! We then progressed on to electric typewriters, and from there to computer.”
Elizabeth has juggled her working life alongside raising two children, and has also made time to pursue another one of her lifelong loves.
“Singing is my passion,” Elizabeth said. “At present, I am a member of two choirs. I sing in Counterpoint Choir - I’ve been a member for almost 25 years - and hold the position of Vice-Chairman. I also belong to St Columba’s Church Choir, where I have been a member since I married in 1973. Before that, I was a member of Shankill Parish Church Choir from my teens.”
Having also made time to be the secretary of the music section in Portadown Festival from 2005 to 2010, Elizabeth’s energy is quite clearly unstoppable.
In her time working for the Council, Elizabeth has worked as Personal Assistant to the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Finance Officers - and worked in five different departments.
“The thing I’ve enjoyed most has been the variety,” shared Elizabeth.
“There are so many projects. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the excellent working relationship within the Development Department, all of whom attended the buffet lunch on Monday.”
The lunch was hosted by Lord Mayor Councillor Darryn Causby, who presented Elizabeth with an iPad Air and a painting in recognition of her dedication to the Council.
“I’ve had the pleasure of attending some employee long service awards, but never one for 50 years,” Councillor Darryn Causby commented.
“This is a first for me and I know that people will be rightly amazed. What a fabulous achievement. Congratulations to you, Elizabeth! I know that in those 50 years you’ve seen some changes, both in technology and in people. Council felt it was important to mark this momentous occasion and I’m delighted that you were able to join us along with some of your friends.”
Almost fifty Councillors and colleagues attended the event, demonstrating the degree to which Elizabeth is valued by those with whom she has worked over the years.
“The lunch was fun and very relaxed,” said Elizabeth.
“All of my own department were there, as well as the colleagues I’d see every day. It was really nice.
“To those just starting off in their careers, I’d say give 100% to your work: embrace the challenges and grab with both hands all the opportunities that come your way. Above all, enjoy!”
It’s quite evident that Elizabeth has paid heed to her own advice, having dedicated the past fifty years to the Council - and offering her full potential to every single one of them.