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Trish Melia Retires

Having first joined Greaves West & Ayre in 1973, Patricia (Trish) Melia will be starting her well-deserved retirement in June, 50 years on from when she left school to start her working career.

Trish’s career at GWA began in June 1973. After leaving the area in 1979, Trish returned to Berwick in early 1991, and also re-joined GWA. On both occasions it was Partner Ian Davidson who hired Trish who has now spent, in total, almost 40 years at the firm.

Back in 1973 there were just four GWA partners Gordon Ayre, Jim Coats, Ian Davidson and Brian Thomas plus around 40 staff. Based initially at GWA’s Sandgate office, Trish accepted the role as office junior and remembers receiving her first weekly pay packet of £7. Her responsibilities included delivering all the local mail by hand to clients and solicitors in the town as well as making coffee for all the partners and managers. Trish advanced from office junior after a few months – to be replaced by Daphne Bell who only retired from GWA at the end of last year – and
worked at the Halifax building society reception (GWA were agents for the Halifax at that time) before moving to the VAT team.

On her return to Berwick and GWA in 1991, Trish worked across the VAT team, the Sage accounts team and the CoAct team before becoming one of the first members of the Wealth Management team. As the Wealth Management team grew Trish became responsible for transferring all the clients’ printed files into digital format.

Looking back Trish says the advances in technology have probably made the biggest impact during her time at GWA. Gone are the times of handwritten accounts, no calculators, and manual typewriters. Trish remembers when the first electric typewriters were introduced, and they needed to be switched on an hour before being used so they could ‘warm up’.

Once retired Trish is looking forward to having more flexibility to do the normal day to day jobs when she wants, and also has a big holiday planned with a long-term friend. Coffee mornings with two GWA colleagues, Pamela Wedderburn and Daphne Bell, who have both retired in the past 12 months, are also on the cards.

Although looking forward to her retirement, Trish said she will miss her colleagues. The chat and the support they have given her and her family over the years has been so appreciated.

Trish’s unique place at GWA can be summed up in one small statement – there is no one at GWA today who was working for the firm when Trish first joined, back in 1973.

You will be much missed Trish. Everyone at GWA would like to thank you for your incredible service over all these years, and are sending very best wishes for a long, healthy and happy retirement.

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