Saying goodbye after 45 (Jelte) and 40 (Binne) years at LPF Flexible Packaging
In our New Year’s Brunch last week we shared a lot of great moments, memories and laughs with each other. While this was a festive moment, this year’s brunch also had a sad side. It was the last time two of our greatly appreciated co-workers were with us in Grootegast. After a combined 85 years of working at LPF they will be enjoying their well-deserved retirement.
To put them in the packaging world’s spotlight for one last time we had a quick interview with them during their last workday. We chatted about how they got started at LPF. We also covered how they experienced their time working here and their plans for the coming years. Everyone here at LPF wants to thank them one last time for their contributions to the company in the past ~40 years, and wishes them lots of happiness and health in their retirement!
Jelte started working for LPF at the slitting department, but he moved on to our laminating department pretty quickly. In those years he laminated countless cookie packagings. He still thinks back to that time when eating a cookie these days, he says. After two years Jelte left our company very briefly, for his mandatory service in the army. Serving as a radio and communications engineer, he was already asked to come back to LPF before his service even ended.
When he came back in 1975 Jelte started at the gravure press and has never really left it’s side. Gravure printing was a prestigious and challenging position in those days, and since then he remarks he has never even thought of moving to any other department.
With his retirement Jelte says he’s looking forward to the added free time. First things first, he’s planning to do some chores and fixes around the house that he hadn’t gotten around to yet. After that he might consider signing up for some volunteer work. But first he wants to spend some more time with his friends, family and grandchildren. Getting to play some football, riding a horse or practice ice skating with his grandchildren are all things he’s looking forward to. When asked for any final words of wisdom Jelte mentions the importance of atmosphere, teambuilding and a healthy work/life balance.
When asked about his getting started at LPF, Binne answers impressively sharp: 1 december in 1978. Binne lived close to LPF’s location in Leeuwarden back then. Seeing a job posting at the company for a technical service employee he applied and got hired.
Maintenance was divided per production department in those days, and he performed maintenance for the off-set presses that LPF still used back then. He enjoyed this work quite a bit, though it wasn’t always easy thanks to the crazy ideas that his coworkers from the printing press came up with.
Back in those days the technical department was very different from now. Many advancements and changes to machines were still done in-house by the technical department. These days that work is mostly done by the machine suppliers themselves. But with Binne becoming one of the technical chiefs per 1985 it was very normal back then. He mentions he still fondly looks back to those times.
When asked about his plans for the coming years Binne is pretty sober. He’s looking forward to having more free time for himself and his hobbies. The past period Binne has been focused on the carry-over over his work. In other words: making sure that the next generation at LPF is ready to take over. He has coached quite extensively when it comes to the why and what. However he has specifically chosen not to cover the ‘how’ to every detail. Learning to use your own personal style in your work is very important according to Binne, and the last (golden) contribution he wanted to give to us.