Longest serving Eastfield Mall employee speaks out amid its closure this month
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The Eastfield Mall in Springfield has been in business for 56 years, but that’s all about to change in a few weeks, when they close its doors forever. We want to introduce you to Mike Bourbonnais, the mall’s longest serving employee.
Mike started working for the Eastfield Mall back in the summer of 1974 and retired in 2010. Something he said he would do again if he had the chance.
With 36 years under his belt, Mike Bourbonnais holds the title of longest serving employee from the Eastfield Mall in Springfield.
Western Mass News visited Mike at his home in Agawam, and he told us that in the time he worked for the mall, he put on many different hats, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technician and technical operations manager.
“It’s a feather on my cap and I’ll never forget it,” said Mike. “And it was a good time. Overall, it was a really good time. Too fast though.”
As he worked for the mall all those years, he also found the time to do some woodworking on the side. He now has some of those pieces spread across his home, and they hold photos of the mall from back in the 80′s, notes, and even a clock that he got the day he retired.
“I was the only one – only employee that got a retirement party,” explained Mike.
Even on his worst days at work, mike recalls always having a sense of humor.
“I fell on the roof. I was up there working on HVAC, and I was coming down a ramp and I slipped and fell, and I broke my ankle,” said Mike. “And I had to be rescued by the Springfield fire department. They had to lower me in a basket off the roof. And I met my boss at the end of the stairs, and he looked at me – cause’ he was just coming in to work – and he said, what happened to you? And the only thing I can remember saying to him was I don’t think I’ll be in tomorrow. Laughs”
Mike also told us he feels sad that the mall is closing. But the memories he has of his time there will forever live on.
Let us also tell you his spirit was infectious, he’s also a skilled magician. He even performed a few magic tricks when we were there. We wish Mike all the best.
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