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Laurie's Retirement book

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Laurie's Retirement book - Page Text Content

1: Laurence Glyn Blade SRN We wish you every health and happiness in your retirement from all your friends and family 28th February 2013

2: Maidstone Grammar School | Having left Maidstone Grammar School in disgust at not being able to take the exams required to be a Vet, Laurie commenced his patented method of rebellion! Despite daily attempts to get him to return to school, walk out he had and thats they way it would stay. The phrase he uses to describe this (and has used forever more) being: 'I'm just like me mother!" This has been a hallmark throughout his career. It's what makes Laurie who he is and is a part of why we love him so much (on a good day!) | Ron Law, a friend of the family, came to Laurie's rescue by suggesting he work at Linton Hospital with him 'until he sorts himself out' This was the beginning of a lifelong career for soon to be Registered Nurse Blade

3: Linton Hospital Chapel | Although he applied for nurse training at Guys Hospital, Laurie decided Guys just wasn't for him, Instead he went to Mile End Hospital. While training there he shared a flat with a couple of colleagues. According to his Mum, Freda, the flat was located between a dry cleaners (always one to be nicely dressed) and a curry house (a lifelong favourite)

4: He was a part time taxi driver and also worked part time for a car rental company (Hertz I think) returning cars all over the country. Poor lad was really hard up in those days, but he never ate Hovis! I think he's always given a good tip to taxi drivers ever since. Chris Blade aka CJ

5: In his early days Laurie was a Student Nurse at Linton Hospital, near Maidstone in Kent. He and I hardly discussed work-related issues but I do remember two brief occasions when I gained some insight into the first steps on his chosen career (or was it carer?) path. These happened when he was still a teenager, so my poor memory of the detail of times long ago are unlikely to be challenged by his recall! I admit to not remembering the name of the person/persons involved so I have had to invent one. I’d love to know if Laurie remembers his name. Mick McAdam

6: It transpired that Harry Harris was a patient unable to walk alone and had to be helped to the lavatory. Other priorities, such as getting to the pub, had overtaken our Student Nurse's agile mind. After some deliberation (about ten seconds) Laurie concluded: “Ah well, someone will find him I expect. Two more pints please barman! “ | Pragmatic Laurie It was Christmastime and Laurie had to work on Christmas Eve. He and I thought this to be a great injustice, to interfere with our drinking time. He managed to have an early shift but still was determined to get away as soon as possible. He duly managed to slip away somewhat earlier than scheduled and we soon ended up in the local pub. If memory serves me well, which it probably doesn't, this was The Black Horse in Borough Green, Saloon Bar. Quite why two teenagers used to frequent the Saloon Bar I don't recall but it was probably to avoid being regarded unfavorably in the Public Bar or perhaps we liked the comfortable seats. About half way through the second pint, in the days when three to four pints were considered significant as opposed to today when they would be a mere aperitif, Laurie was peering thoughtfully into his beer and maybe even smoking a menthol cigarette (Consulate; cool uh?), when he uttered: “Oh shit! I’ve left Harry Harris in the lavatory!”

7: Comforting Laurie I remember another example of Laurie's obvious suitability for his calling. This may well have involved the same aforementioned and unfortunate Harry Harris. Again it involved the lavatory. Laurie took the patient to the lavatory and to the patient's horror there was blood in his urine (the patient's urine, not Laurie's). Our thoughtful Student Nurse reassured him by saying: “Don't worry. You wouldn't worry if you had nosebleed would you?” The redoubtable Harry looked the young nurse in the eye and replied: “That isn't my bloody nose!” Incontrovertibly true, as we all now know. Game to Harry! | 'He is not a cardiac case,, he is Mr Brown' Laurie from a presentation video in 2007 Oh, how times have changed!! | Central Middlesex Hospital

8: The Brook Hospital

9: I remember Laurie as my nursing officer..... permed hair and teaching medical stuff to me and friends as student nurses.....not a good look!!! and then same hair do at my 21st and in an elf costume! On a serious note as nursing officer....great hugs were always available and especially when I failed my finals. As you know I could go on and on....that's what vicars do! but you probably know the rest... Loads of love Rev Susan Blade aka 'Dibs'

10: Our last 5 a side game in Maidstone was quite an event. Laurie was sent off for apparently spitting at the referee - which was ridiculous. Anyway Chris went up to the referee & put his hands on his shoulder and asked him not to send him off and promptly got sent off as well. At this point I decided that we'd all walk off, which we did. We changed & on the way out Laurie walked up to the edge of the pitch where the ref was and hurled a tirade of abuse at him, which was very graphic and highly amusing to us !! The police were then called so we decided to clear off up the pub - we passed the police on their way in. At a later date the club was fined & we decided to appeal against it, | Life Wasn't All Work -

11: We met with the Secretary of the Kent Football Association, Keith Masters. The ref alleged that Laurie had threatened him with physical violence, which actually wasn't true. At this point Masters asked Laurie to stand up, which he did - he then laughed and the cause of his amusement was that the ref, incidentally called Jim Craigie, was about 6ft 2 and weighed about 15 stone .Masters obviously felt that Laurie was not a threat. I decided not to tell him that Laurie would probably have punched his lights out ! Anyway his advice was to not pay the fine & go and join another league, which we did. I'm sure Laurie will remember it and will probably give you more details on what he said to Craigie. Bob Cooper aka 'Cooperman' | Football is a Lot More Important

12: Bar Tender of the Year Always one to be helpful to his friends, Laurie was prepared to help Charles out in his pub, The Standings Cross in Matfield, Kent, while Charles got on with the cooking. It didn't take long before some bright spark decided to order an odd concoction; a snakebite or similar. As Laurie didn't know what it was he asked, the response he received was something like 'you're the bar tender you should know' So, he mixed as much 'muck' as he could find and passed it over. Needless to say this job lasted less than one whole evening. Charles, ever grateful decided his business was better with Laurie buying the drinks rather than serving them.

13: The New Chief Executive Meets The Chief Nurse Gerry, the CEO invites his Chief Nurse to meet him on his first day. Once the initial hellos were said they got on to important matters; Oh, so you're a Gooner? I can't have that, your sacked! Go to your office and clear your desk, immediately. | Chief Nurse At just 37 years of age Laurie became one of the youngest Chief Nurses in the UK | Bet he didn't look this good in his frock though!

14: Laurie's Ladies | Although he adamantly denies it everyone knows that 'sparkle' in his eye and his preference to 'be with the girls'. As he explains "I'm a nurse, I worked with a lot with women so of course I get on well with them!" What has this to do with work? Well, as fate would have it, Laurie met each of his wives at work. | Jacqueline

15: When I went for my first interview with Laurie he had a beard and was a grumpy sod! He was Director of Nursing, Facilities Management, Human Resources and anything else they could throw at him in Ravensbourne NHS Trust when he appointed me as Head of Nursing for Mental Health. The first time that I was invited to wait in his office by his secretary, Joy, I was unaware that I had company. Laurie took Josephine, his dog, to work everyday. Josephine always waited quietly behind the door so you really didn't see her until after the door was closed and Joy had left. Much to my surprise (and fear) just after I sat down Josephine walked over, rested her head in my lap and growled! Laurie had taught her to 'talk' I just didn't know that at the time. Having worked together for several years Laurie and I were both made redundant. He went off to work for a new company called HCP. I went off to set up a nursing home. A short time later I was invited to have a 'chat' with HCP and within a week was working with him again on Health related P3 projects. We frequently worked away from home but it wasn't until he had one too many during a quiet afternoon in the pub with Gerry & I that we got together (that's another story!) We married seven months later, the rest, as they say, is history. Thank you darling - Love You! Denise aka Ratchet & Denzle | Josephine aka Farty Tarty

16: " When we set up HCP in 1997 and started to deliver our first project in Warrington, it was immediately clear that we needed to focus on the delivery of high quality care to patients and that the development of the company into something unique in healthcare would depend on its having at its fingertips staff with a detailed knowledge of the way in which the best care was being delivered. This would give us an edge in terms of design, efficiency of care delivery and long term operating costs. As there were only three of us in HCP at the time and no one with any direct experience of clinical care, my thoughts turned to my old partner in crime - Laurie Blade. Laurie and I had met some years earlier when I had been DGM in Bromley HA and Laurie was the newly appointed Chief Nurse. Despite his appalling taste in football clubs (he is a gooner), we hit it off on day one and Laurie helped us to become the best performing Authority in the Region. Could we repeat that trick? | H C P

17: Well the answer is a resounding -yes! With Laurie's unstinting support, HCP became one of the leading PFI operators in the country with a win rate in new bids that is second to none. Laurie never hesitated to get in amongst the bullets and dedicated hours and hours to developing our bid proposals to a point where they helped us to win five times on the trot. He also had an uncanny knack of hitting it off with the key clinical staff in the hospitals we were hoping to redevelop and many of those relationships persist to this day. When we established Canada, Laurie was in the van with me. We flew out together after | persuaded him that it would be fun to go and have a look. the rest as they say is history. He has proved an invaluable rock on which the company can rely and it owes him a huge debt. In the odd hours when we weren't bidding Laurie found time to woo Denise - right under my unseeing nose and that partnership also helped us to diversify and win in projects like Prospect Park and Hinchingbroke. Above all though Laurie has been a true friend for over 23 years. His company is never less than entertaining and he is always there when you need him to get you out of a hole. Laurie, it has been a blast to walk this road with you. I suspect we will sink a few more together before too log. In the meantime enjoy yourself!" Gerry N.V. Green aka 'Gerius Maximus Roman Centurion of this Parish'

18: The infamous first day; an office, a garden chair and a computer. | The Early days | Many a lunch was spent in the Bricklayers Arms, frequently extended to afternoon tea and then early supper. We worked hard (sometimes through the night) and played hard - a common theme in HCP staff at the time. | On one occasion we went round for a drink only to find the bar out on the street. It still had the taps attached! | Are you a 'regular' or an alcoholic if you get to the stage that the landlord hands you the keys at the end of the lunch session so that you can have a 'lock in' ? Payment being made once he returned and counted the empty bottles! | Stuart Stocks 'Stocksie"

19: Warrington Many a happy trip to Warrington to open the new private care centre where NHS patients could receive first class surgical care. Well, so long as Laurie & Tony are able to get the toilet roll holders and hand towel dispensers fixed to the walls in time for the approvals inspection! | Tony had to experience the chip shop: Unable to go to Warrington without a visit to the chippy, Laurie thought Tony should partake of this amazing experience - having placed your order, you found yourself in a thick cloud of chip fat and steam - waiting outside until your fish was ready was the only way to survive. | 'Tone' Tony Chiles

20: Laurie lasted well didn't he! The key was getting out of the UK well away from IW! | - the days based in Bromley were exciting as we built up HCP and gathered a great team. | Perhaps naturally my happiest memories of HCP were in the early days

21: My most vivid memories with Laurie were in the final days and hours of a large bid when we worked all hours of the day and night. We forced Skanska to open its office for us at night when they had all gone home and then the mad dash around the country in a transit van full of the bid. I know one involved Laurie and an AA breakdown truck but there were many other near misses. Laurie was and is great with people. He built up strong relations with Skanska and our other partners that ensured HCP was well regarded in the PFI world. | I admired him because he would tell Gerry when he was being an idiot and Gerry listened. Not something that I managed! | Laurie, enjoy the retirement celebrations - It would be great to get together when you are a man of leisure. Best wishes John Hubbard aka 'Hubcap'

22: I still remember the days when we all knew who was who (at HCP), and we were based in Bromley. I’ll never forget the slight awkwardness when I was introduced to Laurie on my first day (13 years ago now!) – not realising he was my boss! We worked some long hours together – Derby bid etc – but Laurie always managed to find something to laugh about, even in the most stressful circumstances. I wish him a long a happy retirement (but I can't believe he's old enough as I still think of him as he was 13 years ago!) Best Wishes, Katharine (nee Evans)

23: Sir Derek Boarman, Chairman | Hands on Hanley with Gill Jinks | Bobby!

24: You know, I thought Laurie retired several years ago? If he has managed to keep getting paid by HCP then I am impressed! Of course I have to refer back to the Derby bid. Arriving new to the bid I first met the team at a meeting in Derby where Laurie produced this crazy design that removed all the ACAD functions into a separate building. I reacted in a very negative way (I think expletives were involved) and insisted that we would not be changing the design. Of course I was ignored and the scheme was changed. The Hospital loved it and as history shows we won the bid. There is a postscript of course. In changing the scheme we gained area to the tune of 30mGDP. I then spent 6 months justifying the extra cost before eventually reaching agreement with Brian and the Hospital. Thank you Laurie for giving me the opportunity to brush up my negotiation skills! I hope he has a very happy retirement and trust it doesn't mean that you (being so much younger) will have to keep working in order to keep him in the manner to which he is accustomed. Take care both of you and keep in touch. Rob Shed aka 'Sheddy'

25: Who Asked James & Lee? Lee: Not sure you can put anything in writing, I just remember lots of swearing. I've still got his belt from the South Derby closing party I think... James: All the best to you and Laurie. Lee: Will you get back to the UK any time soon? James and I are known to come out still on rare and important occasions so let us know when you make it back to the UK. We’d be free for a few sparkling waters. Two options: 1. James pays for you to come back. He’s very successful these days 2. Or we wait till May I have never really been able to hold it so only need half hour with the old man. Be good to see you. James: I suggest you just have a page that turns over and says........

26: VAN SHAG | Derived by Mr Tim Pearson to describe the delivery of a bid submission when Denise accompanied Laurie Why else would she go?!

27: Memories of Laurie - The one event that comes to mind is the very drunken evening at the Sterling Castle hotel when everyone went out for a meal (I stayed Drinking at the hotel) and I understand it all got very load and leary....! some locals got upset (Laurie was being loud along with others in the group) and they asked the restaurant owner to call the police... Terry Barker

28: Grumplestiltskin | Thank you also for your support and humanity behind the scenes, this I will treasure, especially when Stephen died, and the night in London when you got me so therapeutically plastered. | Laurie you interviewed me for HCP and fixed that interrogator stare so direct I can still feel it. But despite this you grunted acceptance and inducted me into the world of PFI, Thank you.

29: But perhaps my most enduring memory is your effect on my children. When we worked together in Canada they regarded you with awe and when I asked why, my eldest said you were the only adult they had ever met that made them realise you didn't have to be sensible when you got older!! Laurie you are the HCP maverick, guaranteed to be independent and flatly refuse to “group think”, always entertaining, if a bit scarily so. It’s been an education, a pleasure and always a laugh. So grumplestiltskin enjoy your retirement and chill! Jackie | Laurie 'Jacks I thought I could get the kids T-shirts to take home, you'd like that wouldn't you John & Helen? Simple, quite plain just a little text across the left breast; | 'Juan de Fuca' | Jackie 'then you'll be going to the school with them to explain!'

30: Laurie interviewed me all those years ago (2001) and I am very grateful for the opportunities over the years. THANKS!! My regards and best wishes for the future. I am sure there will be many happy memories Wallis Weir | All the best Laurie Willie Nicol

31: I discovered under that hard nosed exterior was a pure heart of gold. He was willing to share his knowledge and was extremely tolerant with slow learners like me. My first performance review was not text book but it was memorable and I have often wished all that followed had been conducted in the Laurie style. He was a fantastic boss who expected the best from his crew but he was fiercely protective of his team and made us all feel valued. I valued his wisdom, his support more importantly his friendship. I am so pleased he has found the good life and I wish him many years of happiness with Den Love Andrea Spyropolous aka 'Scoucer' | I hope Laurie has a fantastic retirement. As one if his troops here is my story. When I first met Laurie he was straight talking, direct and a little scary. He expected hard work commitment and absolute professionalism. | It was a black tie event and Andrea was under the watchful eye of Laurie; He watched her get drunk, he watched her enjoy herself and watched her get into a taxi, paying extra to ensure she got back to her hotel safely. Much to her sons disgust however, he didn't watch her fall into the umbrella stand the following morning resulting in a cut that needed several sutures!

32: I should have known the first time I met Laurie, with Gerry, on my interview at Ruth Chris Steakhouse in Edmonton that we would have a special relationship. What should have been a one hour interview turned into us closing the restaurant down and limping home. I like to think that Laurie and I hit it off immediately and share the same warped sense of humour. Albeit I'm not quite sure what he means half the time. I've learned a whole new vocabulary, including Cockney rhyming slang (who am I kidding, I have no idea what any of it means).

33: I am quite pleased to see he and Denise make Canada their new home and make the most of what Victoria has to offer. Even though he keeps threatening to pick everything up and move to Smither's or some other snow packed destination, good luck with that Den. Laurie's impact on HCP and the genesis of HCP Canada has been very appreciated. I swear if we cut him open he would bleed "Green". I would like to think our friendship will last the test of time and not be bound by HCP but something stronger. Remember my friend ..mustn't grumble! Don Bourgeois aka 'Baby Gerry' | Laurie and I have discussed the worlds troubles over many a beer in many of the finest, and not so fine restaurants across this great country. He will also let me know that I was the first one always to beg off home.

34: Dear Laurie, At the very first HCP meeting I attended, I was so very impressed by the consistent references to songs throughout what appeared to be a formal meeting?!@#?$! There were references to “I was blinded by the light” and “I saw her standing there”. Coupled with the subtle yet definitive acknowledgments by Jackie, who was clearly keeping score! I thought to myself 'quirky group' I’m in!

35: It was a fascinating journey of learning and discovery. I felt a lot like Alice In Wonderland - you have a sticking resemblance to the Mad Hatter! The memories and the journey are rich with stories, at times war stories. The challenges were balanced by the hysterical laughter, pure sleep deprivation and chocolate, AleAleAlejandro and cleavages resembling a map of the UK and other adjectives that are far too inappropriate to include here you know what I am taking about! Thank you letting me “carry your bag” along the somewhat twisted road. You and Den played leading roles in the development of HCP Canada and in teaching me the P3 journey, never to be forgotten and always to be remembered with a smile. Cheers Cindy aka "Cinders"

36: Mr. Cranky Pants is putting the football on the shelf? Laurie, I thought you would never give up the extreme challenge that is HCP, but I am sure you will find creative ways to keep that keen mind occupied! You and Denise made HCP Canada a great place to be and I thank you both for your quirky ‘English’ ways! Wishing you a lot of fun and a little peace in the next chapter of your life! Debbie Tuske | English Slang (extract from Debbie's Note book) Cockney Rhyming Slang: Boat Race – Face North and South - Mouth Whistle and Flute – Suit Scooby Doo Clue – Clueless (as in: Ain’t got a bleedin Scooby) Septic Tank – Yank(American) Apple and Pears – Stairs Pork Pies - Lies Hampton Wick – Prick Other Slang Rare as Rocking Horse Shit Maple – Canadian Lost your Bottle – lost your nerve Got a lot of bottle – have a lot of nerve Bosh – dumb Maximus – Roman Centurian of this Paresh – Gerry Flatback four – all at the same level 3 B’s – bullshit, baffle and brains Louise – apparently Denise’s name after Rob Ennis has a few drinks Duck quick – totally lost Damson – a plum used to make liqueur Piss artist – a drunk Kirby kiss - ?

37: Laurie / Denise - next time I am in BC, I will try to make out to the island for a celebratory drink and we can talk our RJH days. Actually, I think it is almost 5 years ago to the day when Laurie, Denise and I were in Cannon's office putting the RJH bid it. Denise was sick and I was working away at the model and write up, so Laurie had to spend Valentines in the hotel pub with nice bloke who Laurie got on with until he invited Laurie in to his room.... Amardeep | I want to wish Laurie a much needed and happy retirement - although I doubt he will ever retire. Suggestions for leisure, produce a rock band given that he has enough instruments for it! :) Gina Arezza | Dear Laurie, you are the funniest man and you can always make people feel comfortable and laugh. I am sure you will be missed. All the best in your retirement, I look forward to hearing about your newest boating adventures over a glass of wine. Helen Pang

38: It's hard to suppress a smile when I think of Laurie Blade. There are so many fond memories of him in the deep recesses of my mind that it is hard to bring fourth just one, they all jumble together. He has inspired me, and everyone I’m sure, with his unique style and easy approach to everything. Firstly, I have to mention, all of the kind things he has done for my husband, Nathan, and I. I picture him as being quite uncomfortable for being acknowledged for kind deeds. He would quickly change the subject by throwing in some British slang curse words, all of which he has taught to me with proper annotation, and then throwing in an awesome story full of the best impersonations and sound effects. After all, when he tells a story, everyone listens and laughs until it hurts. I think he may have missed his true calling as a professional jokester and storyteller, Feherty would defiantly be out of a job. | Back to the point, the truth is that Laurie has a very generous and kind heart. He taught me to play golf on his lunch break. This in itself was no easy task. He was always very patient. After perfecting my swing, I think he will find that statement funny, he taught me how to play “proper golf”. This included, not walking in someone's line, not picking your ball up from the rough and throwing it on the fairway, not talking constantly while someone is at the tee, not recording your score until you are at the next hole and not drinking too many Strongbow’s before the ninth hole. All in all, Laurie Blade taught me that golf is not only a gentleman's game but also a ladies game. It's a hobby that my husband and I will enjoy together for the rest of our lives and really it all started with Denise and Laurie. It will be difficult to not think of them every time we play.

39: It’s tough to recount all of the generosity he has put fourth in one page but one really big favor comes to mind. Laurie volunteered to watch our dog, Cash, for us for ten days, while we went on vacation. I was so worried at the time that our dog would not jive well with the new baby on the way, as he was very misbehaved. That was of course until, Laurie, the dog whisperer, was on the scene. By the time we returned from vacation our dog was perfectly mannered. To this day I have no idea how he did it, but our dog walked perfectly on a leash, or “lead” as Laurie would say, and seemed much calmer all around. I don't know if the cats ever recovered from the stay but we were eternally grateful. Lastly, I will remember how Laurie always made work seem like fun. I was always so excited when I had to go to Vancouver to help with a bid. I knew that it would be long hours and hard work, but I knew that Laurie would be there and we would have a laugh. He had a way of diffusing tense situations and making them productive. I will miss hanging out with Denise and Laurie. I always enjoy their banter and them “winding each other up” or “taking the piss”. I will cherish all my fond memories. It was such a privilege getting to know Laurie Blade. I am highly confident he will enjoy retirement, as he does everything. I really hope to play another game of golf with him again, sooner than later. I wish him and Denise all the very best and I thank them for always being so refreshingly genuine. Deanne ,Nathan, Jaxon & Ryder

40: I first met Laurie after the interview for the Surrey Ambulatory Care Centre in the bar of the Fairmont in downtown Vancouver (fitting location). He was sitting at the other end of the table and had a curmudgeonly look on his face (ok well he usually has that look) and all I could think about was - how the hell am I going to work with this guy on Royal Jubilee? Well work we did, though we all knew where we stood early on. I will always remember sitting in our little meeting room, Denise, Laurie, Cindy Welsh and I hacking out the concept for the patient unit. Laurie and Denise were sitting across from each other and started going at each other about the other not being a "real nurse". Cindy and I were sitting quietly not knowing what the heck to do when he turned and said "This is the way we work and you damn well better get used to it or you can just fuck off." Welcome to healthcare planning, Blade style. Yes much back and forth about "what do you know you're just an architect" vs "what do you know you're just a nurse" but we had a ball doing it. Kept the old guy up for almost three days at the end. And boy was he paranoid about getting the package to Victoria - picture Laurie Blade on the back of a BC Ferry - pacing back and forth cursing "they're going to miss the ferry, we're done for, they're going to miss the ferry." | It all comes down to trust... I mean, just look at this photo. Would you trust this guy with the future of your patients? Hell, would you trust him to even be in the same room as your patients? It really is about Mr. Brown actually - but Mr. Brown is liable to drop dead of a coronary if this is his nurse!!!

41: And just don't proofread a document after Laurie is finished with it. He will always be remembered as being very hungry when he proofread the Surrey RFQ - literally - why else did every person on the team have a "roll" vs a "role." Unless he was thinking of other things... | So he's retiring. Yeah right! That's going to last about a week before he gets all fidgety and starts driving Denise batty (more so than he already does). Maybe he can practice his golf and actually beat her once in a while! There are always more guitars to be played... Yes it does all come down to trust. It has been a blast Blade and I would work side by side with you any day and I hope you enjoy retirement - whatever that is. Just remember, if I ever do have that coronary, call 9-1-1, any good nurse should be able to do that and I want to live dammit. Of course, that assumes you know how to use your i-phone... Ronald B. McIntyre Architect aka Ronnie

42: Do You Remember..... | meeting Gerry at the Christian bookshop at 4 am for a 9am meeting in Derby? | Stopping off in Longtown on the way to Glasgow with Richard (aka Ricardo) for the fastest drink ever in the pub! | Always heading for the British Rail buffet car for breakfast when traveling by train - it meant you got first class travel for the price of a breakfast. | The Cars and Bikes Mauve BMW that blew up, the M25 wreck, Dragon Rallies, Combe House on motorbikes, Mustang for hire | The Jrena Special!

43: Gerry & Maralyn for diner Cheers to Pauline | We are all in the gutter - only some of us are looking at the stars........ Oscar Wilde | Cindy's hair in the restaurant | The Sunday we had a lock in at the Penny Black, playing pool with Pauline and walking home with no laces - following which we had to get up at 5am for a meeting in Mansfield. The tyre blew on the audi and much to our relief we couldn't get there on time - Gerry told us to stay home, so we went back to sleep! Pauline & Steve say hello and best wishes | Bob Sheridan always twiddling with his hair when challenged by you | When Gerry was Strider, Laurie and Rob were Pippin and Merry and Debbie was Arwen? From the very early days of HCP Canada, when we apparently had too much time on our hands!

44: Laurie I hope you are well and have plenty of plans for the next few years.

45: Here are a few shared memories, all the best Martin Gillatt

46: There are few people who get to be leaders in health care throughout their entire career, but even fewer (less than 5%) who get to do that in different continents. When we met at St Pierre in Wales, back in the early 1990's - yes that is 23 years ago -- as we represented our respective countries in the 4 Nations Golf Tournament for a number of years , I saw someone who would go far in your career. You did indeed as you came to western Canada!!! But seriously you should be proud of a remarkable career as a leader in the NHS over many years until making the decision to come to Canada to work in the Canadian system. You brought tremendous energy enthusiasm and humour to everything you touched. In your time in BC you were able to bring that rich NHS experience to many situations and projects. So it is fitting that now, after a full and distinguished career , you get to hang up your briefcase , and begin to have more time for the things you enjoy which I know include golf,music, the odd glass of refreshment!!!!! | So a toast to you from a fellow lifetimer from the old country and the NHS, I wish you a long healthy and happy retirement Best regards Howard

47: All the best Laurie, Stephen & Connie Muir

48: I met Laurie Blade during the procurement process for the Patient Care Centre. Laurie was a character - always making inappropriate jokes and always getting the party started. He has a wicked sense of humour and a sharp mind - a dangerous combination. His hijinks include putting a still from "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" into the proposal for the mental health unit for the PCC! We had a great deal of fun discussing the Gooners, despising Manchester United and dressing up for Halloween - which we did, as a team, for one of the early (serious) bilateral meetings. Other Laurie hijinks include getting excited, and then carried away, during bidding for items such as signed NHL jersey's - by famous players who played for the best hockey teams on the planet - but of which Laurie knew nothing! The last LB story is the one where he decides to buy a new boat, to suit his westcoast, waterfront home and lifestyle. Of course, he buys one at the boatshow within minutes of seeing it! He now has boat and needs a better dock! He uses his boat to zip around Saanich Inlet (a large pond!) turning wildly in ways which threaten to expel his fellow travellers clean out of the boat! What a guy. I love his zest for life and his laugh and will miss working with him." Rudi van den Broek

49: Here's to the weeping incessant hair loss, bed-wetting and hangovers! And that's just the design meetings! All the best in your very enviable retirement! Jon Shaw; Cannon Design.

50: One of my memories of Laurie involved him coming up here on one of his many trips helping me transition into this new role, when he referred to FSJ as “the Land of Ice and Snow” and kept saying “you’re all mad!!” to me over and over about us living in such cold, snowy conditions, but he never missed a trip and always came through to help whatever the weather and whatever the situation! | Dedicated through and through, just like Froto the Hobbit.... (he’ll know what that means J) Ardith

51: I always look forward to working with Laurie, he always has the knack of lighting the room up with his humor. He can make a joke out of any situation. I'll always remember on one occasion when we were presenting to a large group of clients as part of the final submission, my nerves were getting the better of me. Laurie was up before me and his opening words were “ Good morning I am Laurie Blade, I was a nurse and yes I am a man”. Well that brought a smile to my face and cleared the nerves. I wish Laurie all the best in his retirement, plenty of golfing and boating, holding on to his youth listening to Coldplay Lee Blisset | Hello Vancouver!! | I've always wanted to do that....

52: The Fun Days Are Never Far Apart | Dragon Boat Racing Celebration (didn't race just celebrated!)

53: Larry & Ann Fisher | Awesome Buddy! | Kirk Fisher aka 'Kirky Baby'

54: Niamh always feels happy when she thinks of Uncle Laurie, he really made her believe fairies were real & that you lived in a magical place! p.s. is he really that old that he has to retire?!!! My message to my bro-in-law; Mr. B - I know you pretend that you're a grumpy old git but when you break through that hard shell you find a person with a very generous soul who is a great person to be around. But now you are a man at leisure you must remember the words of the great David Brent - What does a squirrel do in the summer? It buries nuts. Why? Cos then in winter time he's got something to eat and he won't die. So, collecting nuts in the summer is worthwhile work. Every task you do at work think, would a squirrel do that? Think squirrels. Think nuts. Helen aka 'mad sister' | Special Times Off Duty

55: I bet he won't give a shit now! Don Gorman aka 'Unc' | Dear Laurie I wish you a long & happy retirement Love Claire aka drinking partner

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  • By: Denise B.
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  • Title: Laurie's Retirement book
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  • Published: over 5 years ago