The 100 longest-serving employees of the University, along with their guests, were invited to attend, with an average of more than 39 years service to the University. Four of those long-serving employees came from the Zoology Department: Barrie Fuller who joined the Department in 1961 as a junior technician; Paul Heavens who joined in 1965 as a part-time Junior Technician at the Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour; Barry Keverne, FRS, who joined the Anatomy Department on a Research Fellowship in 1972; and Neal Maskell who also joined the department in 1965 as a part-time Junior Technician.
All four of them, along with their partners, thoroughly enjoyed this memorable occasion celebrating the University’s 800th birthday. Paul Heaven’s first job in the Sub-Department was working with Professor Thorpe helping to hand-rear chaffinches. Paul is now the Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer for the Sub-Department, a post he has held since 2002. Paul Heavens really enjoyed the lunch and said that it was especially nice to see some old friends again. In fact the Sub-Department was also represented by its Director, Barry Keverne. Barry became the Director in 1988 and a Professor in 1998. Barry would have missed out on this event if he had retired last year but as he still had two funded research grants running he has carried on for a further year. Barry was particularly impressed with the Vice Chancellor’s speech which he felt was “relevant and pertinent to the University’s cause and showed gratitude to the long service given by the people at the lunch”.
The longest-serving member of the Department is Barrie Fuller who has held a variety of roles in the Department which have included working as a research technician with Professor Sir Vincent Wigglesworth and Professor Sir Gabriel Horn before moving to Health and Safety. He is now a Safety Technician with responsibility for chemical safety and radiation protection, amongst other things. Barrie thought that the event was very well organised, with a relaxed atmosphere. He particularly enjoyed the grace Occuli Omnium, sung by the King’s choral scholars, as he had once sung it in King’s Chapel as choirboy.
Neal Maskell, the Department’s current Chief Teaching Laboratory Technician was the Departmental Photographer for 35 years between 1971 and 2005. At the lunch Neal sat opposite someone who had joined the university at the same time, so they had an enjoyable time talking about old times and old friends.
All those invited to the event were struck by the diversity of people attending and that it was especially nice that everyone was treated equally. They all thought the event was a memorable occasion which was thoroughly enjoyable.