The occasion was marked by a formal presentation and an acknowledgement of Spences dedication and loyalty by Sigma’s Financial Director Steven Moore in front of the whole Company.
When Spence started with the Collins division of Sigma he was based in the 1st floor workshops of the Collins shop in Vine Street, fondly remembered for the passage that used to link Vine Street and King Street, Spences early duty included the morning sweep of the corridor linking the two.
Spences career has mirrored an extraordinary growth in technology, pre-computers his first duties included the repair of pocket calculators, (very expensive to buy in 1978), mechanical cash registers, electronic adding machines and dictation machines.
Spence remembers the time when one December, 100 portable typewriters were delivered to Collins, they were all pre-ordered and had to be gift wrapped for Christmas presents!
The first duplicating machine Spence worked on was a a Scotch 3m copier, which had a pink sheet to cover the original, it had a bulb in it, and you adjusted the darkness/lightness of the copy by the amount of time the bulb was on….then you put the pink sheet against the thermal sheet and fed it through the “copier” you could only do one copy at a time….
They have now been replaced by, scanners, laser printers and photocopiers, but for many years they were the primary means of reproducing documents.
In 1981 Sigma acquired the exclusive Sharp agency providing office machinery to the expanding finance industry, replaced in 1995 by Konica, as was, now Konica Minolta, the world’s leading manufacturer of Office Machinery. There followed a period of intensive training in the UK to keep pace with the new technologies that the modern corporate market demands and Spence now provides a repair service for wide format KIP printers as well as well as providing Konica Minolta support.
“Although my passion is discovering how thing work, I’m always taking things apart to find out how they work, the real joy of my business life is not the technical aspect, it’s the people. They learn to rely on you to give them sound, reliable advice and it’s that trust that has been earned in my 40 years with Sigma that gives me the greatest satisfaction”.
Spence has witnessed a great deal of change both professionally & socially in Jersey, it is perhaps a sobering thought that when he began his career with Sigma in 1978 you could drive your car through King Street, the Jersey average house price was about £5000, and he was earning £7.50 per week.