Nevis Range staff say bye to Willie
STAFF at Nevis Range have said goodbye to one of their longest-serving members of staff.
Willie Anderson, 68, closed the door on a big chapter of his life on Thursday July 28 after working at Nevis Range for more than 27 years.
Mr Anderson moved to Fort William around 1969/1970 and became a mountain rescue volunteer, something he did for 45 years. He said: ‘I’m a climber myself, so it was good to help people who were stuck up the mountains.’
One of the original employees at Nevis Range, Mr Anderson dug the first hole for the pylons which now carry the gondolas up the mountain. He said: ‘I am a painter and decorator by trade and that’s what I was employed as when I started. But I began doing maintenance work and engineering – I dug the first hole for the pylons that carry the gondolas. I used to be up the towers there too. It was one of those jobs where you did a bit of everything.’
Mr Anderson has four children, two boys and two girls, and eight grandchildren. He lives in Caol with his partner Jane. ‘I always said I would retire before I was 69, and my birthday is next week, so I just made it.’ His plans for retirement are to stay active and keep busy. ‘Apart from doing the housework, I’ll be gardening, fishing and hopefully climbing. I just got myself two new knees, so I will be trying to do some easy routes.’
Mr Anderson thanked everyone at Nevis Range who gave him a great farewell. ‘Nevis Range is a great place to work. I got a great send- off. I was given glasses and lovely cards, so a huge thanks to all the staff there.’
Willie Anderson, right, receives gifts from Peter MacFarlane, managing director of Nevis Range, on his retirement from Nevis Range after more than 27 years’ service. Mr Anderson was also well known for his work with the Lochaber Mountain Rescue team.