Tribute to my Dad | Translink’s longest serving employee retires after 53 years
Translink’s longest serving employee PJ Moss has retired after working over 53 years for the company, and just a few weeks before his 75th birthday.
Edel Mairs writes this touching tribute for her dad, Pat, or PJ as he is well known by many.
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My dad retires today after 53 years and because of Covid, we can't take him out or do what people would normally do to celebrate. So, I wrote this post... and it's really long, sorry... so if you want to read on, make sure you're sitting comfortably!
Today, my dad PJ Moss retires. Nothing strange in that, many people do. What is rare, is that he is retiring just weeks before his 75th birthday, after working for the same company for over 53 years.
My dad is Translink’s longest serving employee and one of only two people still in Translink to be employees of the original Belfast Corporation – his good friend Frank Clegg being the other.
When dad joined the Corporation in June 1967, Belfast – and Northern Ireland in general – was reaching boiling point.
During those 53 years, my dad worked through some of the darkest days of the Troubles. He lost countless colleagues and friends, witnessed atrocities no person should ever have to, received threats, yet everyday he got up, went to work and just kept going.
Fixing buses, driving buses, conducting buses, managing buses and drivers and depots and schedules. Driving buses for Orangemen on the Twelfth. Driving buses for people who wanted to see the Pope in Dublin. He’s never cared what foot someone kicks with.
There’s not a thing he doesn’t know about buses (or history, motor racing and cars) and his stories of working in Belfast during the Troubles took us into the wee hours when I still lived at home.
As a child, I don’t think I ever quite understood just how much risk was involved, or how hard he worked to ensure my mum, and my brothers and I, never wanted for anything. He pulled double, sometimes triple shifts. Slept in the bus depot when it was locked down by the army for security reasons. Worked hard for every promotion. Fixed cars for friends when he had a spare hour or two.
When as District Manager, he was so concerned that buses and drivers were being attacked or hijacked in areas where trouble had flared at certain times of the year, he drove behind some of the late night buses just to be there in case the passengers or the bus drivers needed help.
In 2006, when he had the opportunity to fully retire, he decided to stay on for a few more years to deliver a range of activities for Translink. A few more years became 14 years.
Quite honestly, I don’t know how he’s done it for over 53 years – maybe it's something to do with a mischievous sense of humour keeping him sane!
Most people count down the days to age 60 or 65, grab their pension and run. Not dad. They should bottle whatever he’s made from because he never stops.
He’ll probably be looking for a new job come Monday, and anyone would be lucky to have him.
I know I am.