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Bland Group manager retires after 45 years

A long-standing Bland Group employee has just said farewell to his former colleagues and friends after 45 years of service at the company.

Paul Pereira was 17 years old when he started working with the group and started working in the Rock Hotel kitchen with the aim of getting into catering.

Over the years, he changed path and became a cargo manager for Gibair at the Gibraltar International Airport.

Mr Pereira, 62, said: “Over the years I have seen many pets and animals pass through the airport, including a cockatoo and the Barbary macaques that were transferred to Scotland.”

“One of the most memorable episodes while working in the airport was when there was a strike at the Malaga airport and we had 16 flights land in Gibraltar.”

“It was a busy time with flights taxiing on the runway continuously and we had to handle them all.”

During his time at the airport, he would sometimes be expected to get on short-haul flights to help with passengers.

Mr Pereira grew up with the Bland Group, after seeing his father Louis served the company for 45 years.

His wife Nina works at the airport and is due to retire after completing 45 years as well.

In total, the family have worked with Bland Group for nearly 135 years.

“I feel extremely honoured to have worked for the company during this time,” he said.

“I am going to miss my job and the people I worked with over the years.”

Mr Pereira hopes to take over from his father as a MH Bland tour guide now that his father is 92-years old.

James Gaggero, Chairman of Bland Group, hosted a retirement reception at the Rock Hotel where he thanked Mr Pereira for his “long, dedicated service and commitment, not only to the Bland Group, but to Gibraltar International Airport and its positive development over the years”.