With 50 years of dedicated service under his belt, Pacific Western Brewing’s long time brewery manager, Tom Leboe, was honoured January 31 with an anniversary celebration for the ages.
Close to 100 employees and friends gathered at the Courtyard Marriott Prince George to celebrate with Leboe, including his wife Jean, friends and members of the Leboe family, PWB owner Taizan Komatsu, many current and retired employees, colleagues from several local organizations, as well as MP Todd Doherty, MLA Shirley Bond and Mayor Lyn Hall who made presentations.
As Leboe puts it, he “unintentionally” began his career at the brewery in 1969. Raised in McBride, Leboe was in Prince George visiting a brewery employee who came home from his shift and offered his guest a job. Leboe wasn’t even looking for a job, but he accepted and the rest in history.
At the surprise dinner reception, PWB General Manager (Sales Division) Scott Rattee praised Leboe: “Tom, you have become synonymous with PWB’s sense of social responsibility and its dedication to corporate and community stewardship. You have earned a place of enduring respect in Prince George, and all of the team here today have shared a place in the glow of that spotlight. Tom, I’ve known you as a friend and colleague for 20 years. You have been a role model for me as you have for so many gathered here today. In Prince George, you have been the face of PWB for decades … when folks meet you on the street, they think Cariboo beer. You have been a treasured brand ambassador, and that will never change.”
Plant Manager Cindy Hartford, Tom’s successor, said: “Tom, you have dedicated 50 years – virtually all of your working life – to the wellbeing of PWB and, because of your dedication, you have helped ensure our success for generations to come, solidifying our prominence and respect in this community and across B.C.”
In his words, Leboe was “overwhelmed” with the accolades.
“I am honoured to have the support of my family, friends and employees, past and present,” he said. “I would like to express my thanks for all the kind words and to Jean, who has unfailingly supported me.”
Leboe was presented a travel voucher and a commissioned painting of the brewery by local artist Cara Roberts. The company also prepared a video in which Leboe talks about his career at PWB. It also features praise from former and current employees, friends, business associates, and Jean.