James Kenealey blog
Morson Group has been celebrating 50 years in business in 2019. As part of our celebrations, we’ve created a book about the business; its foundations, its growth and its people.
We've been releasing excerpts from the book - in part nine, we pay tribute to our late founder Gerry Mason.
In 1998, Gerry Mason retired after almost 30 years in the driving seat. His successor would be his son Ged, who officially took over as Managing Director in 1999, to become CEO in 2005.
On his first day in the Managing Director’s office, he felt very comfortable. “It wasn’t like a big bang or a huge announcement,” he recalls. “It had been a gradual handover, I was effectively mirroring what dad was doing and making more important decisions, so it wasn’t as a big a step as you’d think. It was a natural evolvement, I felt ready for it, I had the confidence then.”
Of course, Gerry was still in the picture. “Dad was still on the phone to talk about big things I was doing and I could always bounce off him; it was great having someone like that,” says Ged. “It’s funny, having shared the office with my father at Stableford Hall, I still remained at my desk. Dad had the bigger desk and I had a slightly smaller one and just out of respect I didn’t go and sit at his.”
Because Gerry still maintained a position on the board, Ged’s decision not to use his father’s desk meant he always had one to come back to. “He’d come back in the summer and might be in the office two or three times. So that desk was always kept for him, to a point where we were really struggling for space,” remembers Ged. “Eventually Kevin Gorton, who was Business Development Director at the time, came in and used my dad’s desk. Even so, I still didn’t use it, meaning I ended up sharing an office with Kevin for a while. Good times.”
Remembering the Don
On 24th July 2015, Gerry Mason passed away suddenly at the age of 77.
Speaking for our special 50th anniversary video, employees of the Morson Group paid tribute:
“It was great to eventually share on office with my father for 12 years plus. Having worked around the different parts of the business there was no better grounding and apprenticeship to serve than with my father. He taught me a lot.” - Ged Mason, CEO
“As Gerry remained on the board, I’d see him every single month anyway and he’d always want to catch up and be kept in the loop about what was happening, what was in the pipeline. He remained driven and actively involved, despite retiring.” – Kevin Gorton, Managing Director
“I always liked his taste in decorating. He always had a knee-deep shag pile carpet in some odd colour. That was always interesting going into his office and thinking, is this the latest fashion?” – Andy Hassall, Morson Projects
“Big black Cadillac parked outside, cigar smoke, golf ball on his desk, moustache. You could see he was an entrepreneur, a business man, successful and had a vision.” - Steve Seddon, Client Services Director
While Gerry may no longer be with us, his spirit certainly carries on within the business, and that we can look forward to a bright and promising future is testament to not only his vision, but the hundreds of employees who have all worked towards this success.