AVR site representatives personally handed out the invitations to the celebratory meal, along with a letter of congratulation. This year, around 70 long-serving members of staff took up the AVR’s invitation.
The event kicked off with a refreshing aperitif in the banqueting and seminar rooms in the south wing of the Panorama restaurant, after which AVR President Adnan Tanglay welcomed his very special guests in the festively decorated restaurant. Panorama Restaurant Manager Jerôme Danner and his team ensured everything ran smoothly. Throughout the evening the guests enjoyed culinary delights from the Panorama kitchen under the management of nationally renowned gourmet chef Jan Trachsler. This time the chef rang the changes by replacing the tasty roast served in previous years with an equally delicious fish dish consisting of halibut and wild-harvested prawns accompanied by saffron risotto and romanesco broccoli in a fine port sauce.
Twenty-five or forty years is a long time, packed with events and memories. What were Roche and the world like in 1977 and 1992, when the guests of honour joined the company? To answer this question, the AVR embarked on an exciting voyage of discovery in Roche's Historical Archive, which has evolved into a veritable treasure trove of Roche history under the leadership of Alexander Bieri.
Gernot Scharf, AVR Vice-President, looked back on some of the highlights from 1977. For example, it was the year that the iconic Building 74, which used to stand where the pRED Innovation Center is now being built, was inaugurated. In the USA, the first Star Wars film was released, while the world mourned the deaths of Elvis Presley and Charlie Chaplin, the latter of whom died in Switzerland.
Andreas Winkler, a member of the AVR’s Executive Committee and the association’s treasurer, was himself celebrating 25 years at Roche. He remembered 1992 as the year the "Soil, water, air – Roche takes care" environmental programme was rolled out and Genentech inaugurated the world’s biggest biotechnology research centre.
It should also be mentioned that between 1977 and 1992, the Roche Group’s workforce grew from around 30,000 employees to an impressive 56,000.
AVR President Adnan Tanglay provided a musical trip down memory lane to accompany the historical retrospective from the archives by playing the biggest international hits from 1977 and 1992. He was astounded by the speed with which his audience recognised the songs, but whether this was due to their good memories or the use of modern technology remains a secret.
Once again, the AVR offers its long-serving members its sincere congratulations and thanks them for their many years of loyalty.