From Blueberries to Falcons: A Family Tradition at Irving Oil

L-R: Alvida Richard (father), Renald Richard (son), Jamie Richard (grandson), Dylan Hachey (grandson) and Lyndon Hachey (son-in-law)

L-R: Alvida Richard (father), Renald Richard (son), Jamie Richard (grandson), Dylan Hachey (grandson) and Lyndon Hachey (son-in-law)

Three generations, one family, one shared sense of responsibility and ethics. That’s how we’d describe Alvida Richard and his family, as they make Saint John home during Operation Falcon.

(Our thanks to their hometown of Brantville - near Tracadie - for lending us the family for this historic turnaround too).

As a spry, cheerful and energetic 71 year old, Alvida has worked on turnarounds at our refinery since 2007. He brings a wealth of experiences and a strong sense of family, ethics, honesty and respect with him every time.

“One could say we didn’t have an easy life,” says Alvida, as he reminisces about his childhood, how his brother died in a fire when he was ten and how his mother passed away when he was just 11 years old. Following these tragedies, families in the community then raised Alvida and his siblings.

After all this, Alvida has built a strong family foundation. He and his wife Cecilia have been married for 53 years.

“We married when I was 18. I guess you could say she was my first love,” says Alvida.

They now have four grown children and a daughter who passed away of cancer when she was 33 years old.

Alvida’s values seem to be hereditary. His oldest son, Renald, doesn’t mind working the long night shift.

“I’ve been a blueberry farmer all of my life and it is hard work - 15 hour days. These shorter shifts are easier,” says Renald. “It’s a very professional respectful workplace at Irving Oil and the people working here are like family."

“Alvida’s son-in-law, Lyndon Hachey, started working in the woods when he was 15 years old. He is teaching his sons and nephew the tricks of the trade.

“I am teaching them all the tricks, especially when it comes to confined space,” says Lyndon. “People call me the ratman. I can get in every pipe and every hole.”

Jamie Richard (Renald’s son) says that his grandfather taught them that fatigue is not part of their vocabulary. “My fiancé Monique and I have two daughters, a 3 year old and a newborn.” says Jamie. “I wasn’t sure I’d work this turnaround, but I saw my cousin, my uncle, my father and grandfather coming here to work and I thought if they can be here, so can I.”

The youngest of the five, Dylan Hachey, says that his father and grandfather taught him that you can learn and do anything if you are willing.

“Be punctual and be positive so that people want you to come back. When you are given a job to do, do it well and make sure they can count on you.”

Alvida and his family share similar values to that of Irving Oil. “We believe in demonstrating commitment; keeping our word; respecting people as individuals.”

They all speak to the same work ethic: with any job you have to give it your all - 110 per cent. They are happy to be part of Operation Falcon at Irving Oil. Working with Jacobs, they noted that they are part of a great team with great supervisors. And, most importantly, they take safety very seriously, saying that no one in the family has ever been injured on the job.

Thanks gentlemen. It was a pleasure to meet you and we look forward to seeing you again!