A Guernsey Water employee is celebrating a "remarkable" 45 years of continuous service, after joining his father at the firm in 1975.
Water Production Manager, Andy Benstead, used to spend weekends with his father at the Water Board in the 1960s, checking pumps across the island’s water network, before joining Guernsey Water as an apprentice welder fitter.
He has held several roles in the four decades since then, including Lead Maintenance Engineer, Electrical Mechanical Supervisor, Water Productions Technician and, most recently, Water Production Manager.
Thinking back on his extensive career, Mr Benstead recalled some of the changes and important events he has been part of during his tenure:
“We used to supply huge volumes of raw water to the tomato and flower growers in their heyday,” he said. “I wonder if these industries could make a return at some point.
“The drought in 1976 brought with it huge challenges, but the technology changes that emerged since then mean we are now able to collect and store more water than ever before, which is a huge benefit to the Island.”
He added that the technological changes, including the ability to control the Treatment Plans and Water Collection facilities remotely – including from home, were “unheard of” when he first started.
Pictured: Andy Benstead, who is celebrating 45 years of service with Guernsey Water.
More recently, he has been managing a team of 11, including welders, electricians and mechanics, who enable Guernsey Water to maintain all of its services in-house. Like him, they all started on a five-year apprenticeship scheme.
Steve Langlois, General Manager, paid tribute to Mr Benstead’s "commitment and dedication":
“It is quite unusual these days to see staff remain with one organisation for this extent of time,” he said. “I am genuinely delighted by the loyalty and passion shown by Andy over all these years within the company.
“He has built up such a wealth of knowledge and understanding of not only the company and industry, but also of our customers, which is invaluable.”
Mr Benstead added that he has no plans to move on any time soon: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Guernsey Water, and am pleased to advise that I won’t actually be retiring just yet.
“I am to remain on board to oversee an important water treatment project, and look forward to seeing that come to fruition for the benefit of the island.”
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