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I would like to take a moment this (evening/afternoon) to share with you all, my sincere gratitude for my time spent working here at (name of company).
I have been with you all for (35) years now. Some of you are newer than some of us other old timer's still going strong, but we have all managed over the years to get along and grow as a unit, dividing up our areas of expertise yet coming together when it was required.
I am so thankful of having been given the opportunity when I was only (33) years old, to join this dedicated, forward thinking and highly respected company. Being taken on board here to grow and excel in my field was the career move I had been hoping to find.
I remember that at the time, I was finding it very hard to find a company I believed in, one I could see myself evolve and prosper in over the years, but also finding a company who saw me as someone they needed to have be a part of their team and to grow with them was just as hard to find. My talents and work ethics were noticed and appreciated from the very beginning, something that I have never forgotten or ceased to appreciate.
I want to thank from the bottom of my heart you (Mr/Mrs Smith) for believing in me all those (35) years ago.
So now, a new beginning for me, a new journey, the time everyone calls retirement... the time that is for all those hobbies and activities we don't have time to do when we have a career. It will be a difficult transition for sure, as my career has been a passion for me all these years and now I will need to get my kick's elsewhere!
I have been giving it allot of thought, appreciating this new lease on life which is now available to me. My wife and children are extremely happy for me, eager to introduce me to all sorts of new leisure activities to tire me out more I think than anything else so that I don't drive them all crazy with all this new free time I have on my hands!
I hope that those of us who have become close over the years will be able to keep in touch and that you will find the time to come visit me or join me on one of my new activities!... who know ...it might just make you a little bit envious and give you a taste of what you have to look forward to one day.
So, thank you all once again, for (tonight, this dinner celebration/this lunchtime celebration), for all your support and well wishes. You all mean a great deal to me. So on with the retirement party, I'm just getting warmed up!