WALKERTON – There are stories about co-op students who started with a business and stayed on long after the placement was over. But for 25 years?
Tyler Keip, franchise owner of Pizza Delight in Walkerton, honoured one such person recently – Jamie Opperman.
“He started as a co-op student in Grade 9, from Walkerton District Secondary School, as it was called then,” said Keip. “He came in every Thursday to fold boxes, and it became part of his routine.” Now, 25 years later, Opperman’s still coming in to fold boxes every Thursday.
“We all look forward to Thursday, when Jamie gets us all smiling from ear to ear,” Keip said. “Jamie’s become part of the family.”
Keip describes Opperman as a remarkable person who’s always taking pictures and who remembers every person he’s ever met. “Everyone in town knows Jamie,” he said.
Keip had spoken with people at the company’s head office in Halifax in May, about implementing a program to recognize milestones.
To mark Opperman’s 25 years at Pizza Delight, Keip presented him with a special certificate of recognition.
Keip posted the photo on social media, and as of the end of last week, 5,400 people had seen it.
“There were a lot of nice comments,” Keip said.
Opperman is from Formosa, the son of Sandy and Glen, and goes swimming regularly in Hanover.
Pizza Delight opened in Walkerton on April 1, 1979 and has been an important part of the community ever since, said Keip. “We’ve been a part of this community for a lot of years; without this community, we wouldn’t be here.”
As a lifelong resident of that community, Keip is proud to be here, and proud to know people like Jamie Opperman. As Keip said on the Facebook page, “Thank you, Jamie, for all your years with us, and we look forward to many more.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times