Digital’s enduring legacy lives on with gathering of the Decies
By Linley Mackenzie
A Gathering of the “Decies” will take place in October, some 20 years after Digital’s European flagship shut its manufacturing business in Galway.
The former Digital workers, known as the Decies, are organising a special reunion in October as part of the 2013 Gathering.
In its hopes of bringing back former workers who are now living around the world, the organising committee has been working on this Gathering since June. It has already secured more than 50 per cent of its expected reservations and events planned include displays of old photographs and other memorabilia, videos for viewing, a memorial table, music, finger food, raffle, and a tour of the Computer & Communications Museum of Ireland in the IDA Business Park at Lower Dangan, Newcastle, which houses a number of old Digital computers.
This year’s event is not the first the former employees have organised, having held a successful “Tops of the Town” Reunion in 2010 which Digital supported.
Digital, which chose Galway as its European hub in 1971, had a major impact on the city’s growth as a location for multinational technology companies. As a result the closure of its manufacturing facility in 1993 with the loss of some 700 jobs was seen as a disaster for the region. Instead it left a lasting legacy on the city. At least 15 companies were established in the aftermath of its closure - many by those made redundant - while Digital also retained its presence in the city through its software business - now Hewlett Packard - ensuring Galway’s reputation as a technological hub flourished.
Importantly the friendships that had developed among its workforce remained, and hopes are high this year’s Gathering will be another huge success.
The Gathering takes place on Friday October 4 at the Ardilaun Hotel, commencing at 7pm.
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