A Fond Farewell...
(Don't panic! It's not yet another obituary: goodness knows I've
had to write enough of those lately, as regular readers of the Not A Blog page
Today was an historic occasion for the denizens of that palace of
lost hopes known as HM Revenue & Customs, Wrexham.
Today saw the retirement of Terence ('Tex') Burke, after more years
of service than you could shake a stick at.
That retiring creature Texus Majoris Mancuniosa in
his accustomed habitat. Here accompanied by his glamorous assistant
It was a time for gifts, for smiles and hugs:
At noon, it was off to the Holt Lodge Hotel for those of us going
on the coach. As part of their cunning plan, Anne and Cath (seen above
with Our Hero), made sure that Tex was the last to arrive.
Tex had wanted a quiet end to his career, and for some reason had
been under the impression that there would be no more than a dozen or
so people there. You can perhaps imagine his astonishment when he
walked in to the room to be greeted by about 70 of his colleagues past
and present. Had he suspected, I doubt if we'd have got him near
The former Area Corporate Services director, Trevor Phillips, made
a short presentation (without PowerPoint™):
Tex, visibly moved, then got up to make a short speech of thanks:
We then got down to some serious conviviality:
It was also a family affair in a special sense, as it has been a
source of amusement down the years how many members of his own family
Tex has got on to the Department's payroll. Here are the members of the
Tex Burke (centre), with sons Patrick, Terence (Tez) and
Damian, and daughter Cath (Hughes).
It wasn't just those who were there who showed their appreciation.
You can judge what Tex has meant to our office by the number of
messages written on this card:
As the afternoon wound down, and we prepared to head back into town
(many with their minds set on some serious boozing), it was
time to wish Tex what we would all wish for him:
For myself, I can only say this: Tex Burke was my first manager
when I came into the old Inland Revenge in 1991. I think it took a few
months for his eyebrows to come back down again. He encouraged me
through my first year, which was at times a little fraught.
Loyal. Conscientious. Funny. Knowledgeable.
These are just four of the words which could be found in the large
dictionary he kept on his desk. Fortunately, all those words apply in
full to the man himself, and it will seem very strange indeed not to
hear the jangling of keys along the corridor as he comes in to work of
So Tex, take the very best care of yourself, yer old bugger,
because you deserve a long, content and active retirement.
By the way, are you available to lock up on Monday night?