This column is dedicated to former LaFarge employee Bill Mitchell.
Mr. Lamont McLain was born in Allentown. In his youth the family moved to Egypt, Whitehall Township. He graduated from Whitehall High School in 1992. While a student, he served as a youth counselor and lifeguard with Camp Whitehall.
Lamont said, “I just always enjoy being around kids.”
He was a defensive tackle and center on the Whitehall Zephyr football team.
With a smile Lamont recalled, “I have great respect for Coach John Bendekovits, a great coach and good man. Bob Kratzer, a teacher and coach, also worked well with all his students.”
After high school Mr. McLain attended Kutztown University and used his social skills supervising youth at a daycare center in Allentown.
His cement odyssey started in 1995 when he was hired by the LaFarge corporation at a rate of $7.43 per hour. The plant’s popular manager was Ed Galary. A strong man, McLain worked on the tire dock feeding tires to the rotary kilns, sometimes up to five tons an hour recycling tires from the environment. Lamont also worked on the labor gang as a mechanic and presently is in the shipping department.
He said, “Today I am a bulk loader filling dozens of trucks each day with quality cement. The cement is hauled to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, even Ohio. Our team consists of Scott Reimer, Brent Miller and Dan Sylvester. Steve Definis is the supervisor, all good men, we are a very tight-knit group.”
Lamont enjoys the interaction with the truck drivers. He has fond memories of many retired employees who shared their skills with him; two of the many include Bob Meckes and the late Bill Mitchell.
With pride Lamont said, “At the plant we are a family for sure!”
Still active, he is a weight lifter and used his athletic skills playing flag football for 19 years.
He is married to Melissa Douglas, a former Whitehall student. They are proud of their daughter Zoe, a fine student at the Parkland Orefield Middle School. The family resides in South Whitehall Township.
We wish Mr. McLain, a friendly and dedicated cement worker, his family and all our friends at the century-old Cementon plant a safe and prosperous 2022.