THE PARENTS of a Wigan businessman have spoken of their pride in him being bestowed with a prestigious honour in the United States.
Norman and Doreen Rigby, who live in Marus Bridge, believe son Jonathan is the first Wiganer to have been asked to open the New York stock exchange.
Jonathan, 47, a former Deanery High School student, is president and chief executive of pharmaceutical firm SteadyMed Therapeutics and was invited to ring the bell of the Nasdaq trading floor on Wall Street in June.
Doreen told the Observer: “It makes us very proud, it’s such an honour. He must have been chuffed because we certainly were.”
Jonathan graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in Biological Sciences after leaving the Deanery and has lived in the US for more than a decade.
He was accompanied to Times Square from his California home by wife Marylynn and one-year-old son Rex.
He has certainly kept his accent, he doesn’t sound like an American. Marylynn, Rex and the family obviously do, but Jonathan still sounds like a Wiganer to usDoreen Rigby
SteadyMed is a limited company on the stock exchange and due to his lead role, Jonathan was invited as the opening guest.
Norman, 77, who lives with his wife on Warrington Road, said: “He has worked for a number of companies before this role at SteadyMed. He took them into limited company status and it is an important thing to be asked to open the trading.
“Someone rings the bell to start the day and then someone is asked to do the same at the end of the day. I can’t imagine someone from Wigan has been asked to do it before Jonathan, it’s quite an honour.
“He was always good at sciences at school, we always knew he would be successful.”
Norman and Doreen have been over to the US on a number of occasions to visit their family and are fans of the weather in particular.
Or as Norman puts it: “It’s great over there, they get too much of what we don’t get over here.”
They are also proud that Jonathan has stayed true to his Wigan roots.
Doreen said: “He has certainly kept his accent, he doesn’t sound like an American. Marylynn, Rex and the family obviously do, but Jonathan still sounds like a Wiganer to us.”
The trading floor bell has been a tradition on Wall Street since the 1870s and although its role is now largely ceremonial, traders are required to stick to the rule that no business can take place before the opening or after the close of the day.