Colleagues gathered en masse to say farewell to our hugely popular outgoing pharmacy chief Mike Culshaw.
He retired after 19 years with us and 38 as a hospital pharmacist and promised not to cry in front of a packed HRI boardroom.
Laughing at his own self-confessed "Mr Bean-like" tendencies Mike thanked all colleagues for their support throughout his career.
He said: "I don't naturally take to being centre of attention. I still don't know how a simple person like me with Mr Bean-like tendencies could have such a successful career".
He hailed his wife Margaret, also a pharmacist as his rock and spoke of his pride for his children, Joe a paediatrician and Hannah a trainee solicitor. "I am the luckiest man alive," he said.
His only regret, he said, was, as the pharmacy at CHFT grew bigger, he couldn't keep up the personal touch he once had with everyone all his team. He also urged colleagues to support his successor Fiona Smith.
Lindsay Rudge thanked him on behalf of all the nursing teams and hailed him her hero when she was stopped at an airport for carrying too many lipsticks on a Cerner work trip abroad. "Mike was behind me and opened up his case and said I can take some with me so they all came with me and they all came back," she said. " He knows this girl needed her lipsticks.!" She said: "He has been a fantastic support, Above all he is a true gentleman, he really, really is."
Owen said he only ever hears platitudes and positives about Mike both at CHFT and from colleagues across West Yorkshire. "Some colleagues are the real heartbeat of an organsiation and I see you as that. All I have ever heard from you is compassion for patients and compassion for colleagues." He praised his throughness hailing Mike's short briefings the longest in the Trust!
In 2016 he was designated a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for distinction in the profession of pharmacy.
The farewell was one of several he has enjoyed and he said he was looking forward to spending time with his wife "remembering why we got married in the first place" after a life-time so far looking after their children and dedicated to their careers.
On the turnout, he said: "I am totally gobsmacked from the bottom of my heart. Thank-you all for your kind words and love."