Such good memories with these amazing personalities!
I arrived in Brunei for the first time in August 2004 along with my wife and three children. It was an exciting time for all of us, setting up a new home in the heart of Asia. My job in those days was Legal & Joint Venture Manager, taking over from an old friend of mine, Malcolm Fraser, who had been here for about six years.
I have very good memories of my brief first spell in Brunei. I had some excellent colleagues – some of whom are still here today (Mildred, Jean, Josephine, Siew-Ling, Fauziah and Ngoi, to name but a few). The General Manager during that period was Pierre Desvoyes, a former Head of Drilling at Total, who had taken up the helm just after the merger of TotalFina and Elf. He was a large and somewhat intimidating man at first sight. Pierre and I got on very well, and I found out that he had a very inquisitive mind about a wide range of subjects. He was very well read, and devoured John Le Carre and Michael Crichton novels.
Another character from that era was Patrick Fleury, the Operations Manager. Patrick was a pocket dynamo of a man – always on the move and very good at his job. The thing that sticks in my mind about Patrick was his jokes. Every morning he used to come into the office early and send us an email entitled “LBDJ” – La Blague du Jour”, or “”Joke of the Day”. So thanks to Patrick, everyone started the day with a smile on his face! Others I remember from those days are Per Grinde, the Geosciences Manager – a big Norwegian who could play a mean game of pool and Philippe Broulis, the Corporate Services Manager, who I remember as one of the best and fairest HR managers I have ever met.