SOME 30 years after they first met, the former staff of Tesco and H Williams supermarkets at the Horan Centre in Tralee got together for a reunion on Saturday night.
The reunion, at Kerins O'Rahily's Clubhouse, was some three months in the making and saw some of the former Tesco and H Williams staff jet in from as far afield as the USA to meet their old colleagues.
Tesco opened their outlet at the Horan Centre in 1983 and in 1986 the store, along with all other Irish Tesco outlets, was sold to the H Williams chain. Sadly H Williams success was short lived and in the same year the chain was put into receivership and all its outlets, including the Tralee store with its roughly 60 staff, were closed down.
The Tralee staff, who formed close friendships while the shop was open, have always remained close and three months ago a few of the staff, noting that it was 30 years since the shop first opened, decided the time was right for a reunion.
Gina Culloty, Tom Cantillon and Mary O'Connor, set about organising the night and the trio spent much of the summer tracking down their old colleagues and finding as many old photos, news articles and memorabilia as they could find to display at the reunion party.
The night proved a huge success with over 30 of the former colleagues arriving for the party. These including the store's former manager John "Johnno" O'Byrne, one person who travelled to the reunion all the way from the US and several who made the trip from the UK.
Gina Culloty said it had been marvellous to see everyone back together again.
"We'd been talking about having a reunion for years and about three months ago we just said lets do it," said Gina.
"We only ever worked in the shop for four years but in that time we all made lifelong friendships and everyone has tried to stay in touch. It was so, so nice to see everyone back together again and we're already planning another bash before Christmas."