Catasauqua Press

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Cement Worker of the Month

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local News

Douglas A. Newhard Lafarge, Cementon

Mr. Douglas Newhard was reared in Catasauqua, graduating from Catasauqua High School in 1973.

He recalls, “I played on the basketball team, and my favorite subject was math.”

After taking an aptitude test, he was hired by Bethlehem Steel Corp. in 1973 at a rate of $3.51 an hour. In his 25-year tenure at the plant, there were dramatic changes.

Mr. Newhard, with a feeling of nostalgia and pride, said, “March 27, 1998, was a sad day. I was in the coke plant, and the word came that the great plant was closing. When I left on the last day, I not only left a job, but a family of friends.”

Douglas brought his work ethic to Lafarge in 1999, starting on the tire dock and progressing to the labor gang, bulk loader, pack house and quarry crusher.

He said, “For 14 years, I operated the crusher, processing thousands of tons of cement rock daily.”

Presently, he works at the unloading station, operating a large loader that moves limestone, coal, sand, coke and gypsum. He works with co-worker Rob Tansier. Their supervisor is Larry Heckman.

Safety is a priority at the plant. There is a safety team that conducts monthly meetings on safety issues. The team is proud of completing three years with no lost-time accidents. The employees take safety very seriously.

Mr. Newhard’s safety motto is: “If you are not sure, don’t do it.”

Mr. Newhard has a friendly personality.

He enjoys his job, saying, “I work with many fine co-workers, and we all attempt to work in a safe manner to produce a quality product for our customers.”

Douglas and his wife, Diane, have been married for 30 years and are proud of daughters Karen, Christine and Janice and sons Stephen and Jason. His best friend was the late Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins, the former Philadelphia 76ers basketball great, who was married to his daughter Janice.

He said, with a smile on his face, “My family is my hobby.”

Active in the community, he is a member of the local Lions Club and active with Special Olympics. The friendly family resides in North Catasauqua.

We wish Mr. Newhard and all my friends at the century-old plant continued success in producing a product that helped build America.