MANY people work for years and years, however nowadays it’s rare to find that someone who has dedicated 50 years of their time, hard work and dedication to the same company and still have that desire to keep going.


Conleth Mayes is that very special someone who has achieved this incredible milestone and this year celebrates his 50th year with us at Star instruments.


“Con is hard working, loyal, reliable and good craic, a lot of companies always say people are their greatest assets and I think that goes to prove people are our greatest asset when they stay for 50 years rather than stay for a number of years and move on. Con has reached a fantastic milestone, its been a pleasure to work with him and we will continue to do so in the future” said Chief Executive, Stephen Donnelly.


Mr Mayes replied , “There’s boys lying about and don’t want to work, I want to work, I’m very happy to stay a while longer because there’s no sense sitting at home, I’m here a few days per week, and I get my long weekends and I’ve still a stack of holidays to get” he added jokingly.


Not only was the Chief Executive there to celebrate the event but co-owner Harvey Bicker, Director Shauna Donnelly and Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh, Tim Morrow were all present to commemorate the achievement.


“It’s a great day for Con celebrating 50 years which is fantastic, and I think it’s a terrific sign for a company when people want to stay because 50 years is a seriously long time”


Mayor Morrow joked with Con as he presented him with a Star Instruments trophy adding “you carry on working for a few more years yet, this company needs you to carry on working and to keep everybody right”.


For Con though, 1967 marked the beginning of his lengthy Star Instruments career. Having left school at fifteen years old, he was on the prowl seeking full time employment. Mayes being the motivated individual he is, was only out of school four days for the summer holidays, when he secured a job at Star Instruments.


That said, it wasn’t all plain sailing in the beginning, Con shared that when he began working he used to be sent out for messages in Belfast city centre, “they gave me the bus fare that was roughly two bob, one day it was raining and I was soaked standing at the side of the road, I went across the road, jumped on the other bus and went home,” he explained as he giggled to himself.

He then added “the next day they phoned my mum and asked why I didn’t come back because it was eleven o’clock in the morning when I left. I told my mum I wasn’t going back, but they called her and said they wouldn’t send me out anymore, tell him to come back, so I came back to work and that was that”.


Mayes has worked under all four chief executives through his time with Star Instruments, Mr Brookhouse, Mr Cooper, Mr Castle, and th

“You’ve good times and bad times, but I get on with it” said the 65 year old.e current Chief Executive, Mr Stephen Donnelly. To this day, his motivation and dedication has still not waivered: “Oh yes I enjoy my job, that’s why I’m here because I like my work and I can do my work, I get on well with everyone here and they now they call me the ‘daddy’” chuckled Con.


Fifty years later, he began to reminisce upon the years spent at the company, and shared some of his fondest memories. The first being the Company Barbeque in 2015 to mark the 50th year the company had opened its doors in 1965. The second was his first milestone as he celebrated 40 years at the company and received a gold pen from Mr Stephen Donnelly to commemorate the achievement.

“It was a proud day for me receiving the gold pen, it sits on my mantle piece and still hasn’t been opened, it was very good of Mr Donnelly to give me that”.


A further ten years down the line, it’s truly remarkable how one man can adapt to the changes in his job and still remain focused. He has lived through the introduction of machinery and yet still masters the skills.


“You grow into it” said Con like it was no big deal, “it’s like everything once you’re taught, you just keep doing it”.


He has worked in packaging, the machine shop, painting shop and thus proves his worth as he racked up plentiful skills over the years.


Director Shauna Donnelly commented upon how the continuity of skills is an asset to the company, “the continuity of skills and how the company strives on good relationships is the basis of its success and Con is at the heart of that. He is dedicated, tenacious and he takes pride in what he does. He worries about being perfect, and that in itself makes him strive for perfection. It shows he cares about what he does which is very admirable”.