Some sixteen years ago whilst on duty as a Maritime Security Guard I had the great pleasure of meeting Rene Lejeune. At that time Rene was working at the Caltex refinery in Brisbane as a security guard for a competitor.
On his regular patrol to the Caltex product wharf Rene would visit the QBH and Sunstate Cement common user berth where I occasionally worked. He would deliver newspapers and the odd souvenir to ship Captains and crew alike. He was passionate about shipping and knew every bulk ship and almost every captain by name entering the waterways of the port of Brisbane. Given his colourful and warm personality Rene endeared himself to all, including myself. His visits were a welcome distraction for all.
Some five years after CPA Group won the Caltex security contract which we had long had ambitions of securing (we still have this contract to this day). At that time Rene joined the CPA team and has remained a valued and popular colleague since.
His contagious smile and infectious enthusiasm have endeared himself to crews, marine pilots, client staff and fellow team mates alike. He even managed to break the ice and engage in daily effervescent conversation with a poker-faced Admiral of the Chines Navy during a recent visit.
Born in Algeria and having served with the Red Caps in the French Army Rene has lived in several countries including Tahiti. This road less travelled means he has many a story to tell.
After sixteen years on the waterfront, and a ship log that spans every vessel movement he worked on Rene is calling it quits and retiring. He has been a tireless and dedicated team member and I am absolutely delighted that he will now have the time to spend with his wife, children and ten grandchildren. He will begin his travels again starting with a fishing expedition to the Cook Islands.
While Rene will leave our ranks he will remain a stedfast ambassador and friend of the GPA Group. Rene your regular chorus of Viola in your flamboyant French accent will be greatly missed.
The CPA Group team wishes you all the very best and safe travels, we look forward to hearing updates on the next chapter of your journey.