Mr. Thomas Coelho joined
the Bata Shoe International Company, in February, 1939,
at the age of 18. He retired recently in December, 2003,
aged nearly 83, after serving in the company for almost
65 years (64 years and 11 months).
Mr. Coelho began working as a salesman,
in a Bata Shoe shop, in Mombasa, Kenya. After two years
he was transferred to work as a clerk in the office at Limuru,
which was established to become the head office of the Bata
organization in East Africa. He continued working at Bata
Limuru, for the next 63 years.
Mr. Coelho started at the bottom rung of
the ladder, and steadily progressed over the years. His
industrious nature and dedicated hard work, earned him recognition,
and the respect and affection of all his colleagues.
In the height of his career, in the seventies
and eighties, Mr. Coelho was the Finance and Administration
Manager of Bata Limuru. He was later appointed to be the
head of Finance and Administration, of Bata (CARO) Central
African Regional Organization, which included about 6 other
countries. At a major Bata conference held in Nairobi in
the late seventies, he once headed a meeting of Finance
Managers, from over twenty countries across the world. On
occasions, he has also stepped into the role of General
Over the last twelve years, Mr. Coelho
has worked part time, in the capacity of Consultant to the
Company. In addition, he has handled general assignments
relating to Company housing, and taxation, and has represented
the Company on various legal matters.
Mr. Coelho’s length of service with
the Bata Shoe Company is truly exceptional, and the longest
in the Bata organization worldwide. He is a most humble
man, and a man of diligence, and great dignity. His motto,
‘GOOD LEADERSHIP SPRINGS FROM INTEGRITY’, won
him the hearts of many who were close to him. Mr. Coelho
is held in the highest esteem, and regarded by all who know
him, as a perfect gentleman. He has also had the privilege
and honour of a personal acquaintance, with the dynastic
Chairman himself Mr. Thomas Bata, (son of the Founder
of the Bata Organization). As a global enterprise,
Bata is the largest shoe company in the world.
Mr. Thomas Coelho’s service with
Bata is phenomenal, and remarkable. Most of his contemporaries
left nearly thirty years ago, and many have since passed
away. He is an outstanding and shining example, of perseverance,
humbleness, dignity and success.
Sadly, Mr. Coelho lost his wife Bridget
in 1993. He is the father of Jennifer, Ron, Clint, and Trevor,
father-in-law of Herbert, Isidora, Alexandra and Nita, and
has seven grandchildren.
We all wish him the best of health in his
well earned retirement. We also take this opportunity to
wish him a very happy 83rd birthday,
on 18th February, 2004, and many wonderful years