Enjoyleisure’s longest serving employee, Malcolm Copland, has handed in his towel after almost 43 years of service in East Lothian.
Enjoyleisure is a charitable trust which provides sports and leisure services and facilties in East Lothian on behalf of the local council.
Malcolm joined East Lothian District Council as a pool attendant in September 1974 From that day to this, he has dutifully carried out his responsibilities as a lifeguard, swimming teacher and leisure assistant.
On getting his first job at the age of just 17, Malcolm recollects getting his first pay cheque.
He said: “My mum took one look at it and phoned the manager. She said, ‘This can’t be right. He’s earning a man’s wage. At 17, she clearly thought I wasn’t a man yet.”
Little did she know that this wage slip would be the first in a long line; as he had started a job that would set him up for life.
His contribution at Aubigny Sports Centre was duly noted over the years; and he went on to be appointed a supervisory position in 1990, before gaining the title of senior leisure assistant in 1992.
Not only was he on shift for the first day the swimming pool opened, he was on hand to witness Haddington’s expansion in the early 1990s when the sports hall, dance studio, gym and café were built around the swimming pool.
His extensive knowledge and expertise over the years in pool plant and swimming pool operations was recognised time and again. He was selected by senior management to assist train and advise staff on daily operational duties ahead of the opening of Dunbar Leisure Pool in 1991 and when North Berwick Sports Centre was extended to include a swimming pool in 1996.
He was a leading voice for staff during the transition period as the council migrated leisure services over to a charitable Leisure Trust in October 2009.
Former colleagues say he was always a team player and recalled how was one of the first people to jump into action when the council found itself in desperate need one Boxing Day after a frozen water tank and several pipes burst, flooding several floors of the main council buildings.
And they say Malcolm can also take enormous pride in the legacy he leaves behind. With his inimitable personality and unique tips and techniques, he has both inspired and helped generations of children by teaching them one of life’s fundamental skills – the ability to swim.
Bill Axon enjoyleisure general manager remarked, “Malcolm is and always will be, the life and soul of Aubigny Sports Centre. His length of service is quite simply remarkable. We have been so lucky to have had the pleasure of his company for so long and we wish him all the very best in his retirement.
“To say that he will be missed is an understatement.”