Carl Batchelder Hon­ored for 40 Years of Ser­vice to North Coun­try Hospi­tal

Stanstead Journal - - NEWS BRIEFS - Nancy Gunn Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion Newport, VT

A great deal has changed in the cafe­te­ria at North Coun­try Hospi­tal since the hospi­tal first opened its doors in Jan­uary 1974. How­ever, one thing that hasn’t changed is the ded­i­ca­tion of Carl Batchelder, the only mem­ber of the cafe­te­ria staff who was there when the first meals were served there 38 years ago.

On Jan­uary 17, Carl’s co-work­ers in the cafe­te­ria, and mem­bers of the hospi­tal’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, rec­og­nized Carl’s 40 years of ded­i­ca­tion to the hos-

pital, the pa­tients it serves, and to his fel­low em­ploy­ees. He was pre­sented with his fa­vorite dessert – Bos­ton Cream Pie. He was also given a num­ber of gifts, in­clud­ing a stereo, and a cer­e­mo­nial plate with Carl’s fa­vorite say­ing on it –“It Takes One to Know One”.

“I think you went over­board,” Carl said, ob­vi­ously as­ton­ished by the out­pour­ing of ap­pre­ci­a­tion he re­ceived from his co-work­ers.

Carl be­gan his hospi­tal ca­reer on Jan­uary 17, 1972 when the hospi­tal was lo­cated on High­land Av­enue in Newport. When the cur­rent hospi­tal opened in 1974, Carl went to work in the spa­cious new cafe­te­ria. He is only one of a hand­ful of North Coun­try em­ploy­ees who have worked at both hos­pi­tals. For 10 of his 40 years his mother, the now late Emma Batchelder, was his co-worker in the cafe­te­ria.

“Carl, you re­ally do make a dif­fer­ence here,” Clau­dio Fort said. “Whether I’m hav­ing a good day or a bad day you al­ways make my day. Thank you for 40 years of ded­i­ca­tion to North Coun­try.” Clau­dio is the pres­i­dent and CEO of North Coun­try, the fifth CEO Carl has worked un­der.

“He is the best em­ployee the hospi­tal has,” Gor­don Lodewyk said. “I have been here for 10 years and he has missed only one day and that was be­cause he was sick. I don’t know how many days he has missed in 40 years but I bet it wasn’t more than you could count on one hand.” Gor­don is in charge of the cafe­te­ria and kitchen, the sev­enth per­son to hold that po­si­tion since Carl was hired.

Rhonda Bullis, the cook su­per­vi­sor, the sec­ond in se­nior­ity in the cafe­te­ria be­hind Carl, has worked with Carl since she was hired on Septem­ber 7, 1983 – 28 years ago.

“He is a real char­ac­ter,” Rhonda said. “He is fun lov­ing, a jokester, and a very ded­i­cated em­ployee. I think at the most he has missed five days of work in 40 years.”

Af­ter a bit of good-na­tured rib­bing, Carl re­galed his col­leagues with sto­ries of his time at the hospi­tal.

“I never thought I’d last this long,” he said. “I had a few days when I didn’t think I’d last an­other day…i saw a lot of peo­ple come and go. Some peo­ple didn’t even make it through train­ing be­fore they quit.”

He also talked about the dif­fer­ences be­tween the cafe­te­rias in the two hos­pi­tals.

“The old hospi­tal cafe­te­ria only had four ta­bles, and the kitchen there was only about a third the size as this one [at North Coun­try],” he said. He told how the cafe­te­ria/kitchen area was so small and crowded the dry goods were stored in the at­tic, and the freez­ers, where the frozen foods were stored, were lo­cated in the hall­way.

When asked if he had any plans to re­tire any­time soon, Carl said, “I don’t have any plans to re­tire be­cause the peo­ple here are so nice to work with.”

Con­grat­u­la­tions Carl!

Pho­tos cour­tesy

Carl Batchelder, Diet Aid, was hon­ored by his co-work­ers for 40 years of ser­vice in Nu­tri­tion Ser­vices. Mem­bers of nu­tri­tion ser­vices staff pre­sented Carl with spe­cial com­mem­o­ra­tive plate, a boom box, and Rhonda Bullis baked his fa­vorite Bos­ton Cream Pies for the party.

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