A SOUTH Ham man was thrown a surprise party by his colleagues in celebration of clocking up 40 years of service at a supermarket.

Around 30 colleagues attended the party on July 16 to congratulate Terrence Dawson for his 40 years of service at Sainsbury’s in The Malls, Basingstoke.

The 57-year-old, of Woburn Gardens, joined the store in 1974 and has worked in a variety of roles. He is now a general assistant.

Terrence told The Gazette: “I am proud. I was surprised by the party and I didn’t know anything about it but it was a nice surprise and even my wife kept it a secret!”

When asked if he hopes to reach half a century at the supermarket, he added: “I will give it a go. I love it here.

“The people are friendly and it is a great place to work. I love the customers and I like to look after them when they come in the store.”

Paul Beesley, store manager, added: “He is a fantastic character and he is known for singing through the warehouse.

“He is very friendly and when people come in with all their shopping we always call him over because they know him because he has worked here for all this time.”

For his dedication to the company Terrence was presented with a £30 cinema voucher and a £20 voucher for restaurant, Pizza Express.