In December 1996 Cape Grace opened her doors and through them came a hand-picked team of staff who fussed around making it feel like home. Fifteen years on and ten of those original staff are still here and say that Cape Grace is their home.
“We are not going anywhere”, says Kim Christians from the Housekeeping Department, speaking collectively as all nod in agreement. And Gladys Zilwa (known as Mama Rose) from the Kitchen says, “I am part of the furniture – you will have to throw me out of Cape Grace before I leave willingly.”
This gathering of long-term staff congregated in one of Cape Grace’s suites for a photo shoot to mark their long service. I snuck in to see what they were up to and after a few formal poses the Christmas hats came out and once Cape Grace’s General Manager, Nigel Pace, put one on too, things loosened up!
When asked why they had stayed so long with one employer, they all concurred that their fellow staff at Cape Grace are like their family. Head Chauffeur Lance Hofmeister says he looks forward to coming to work and seeing his friends like Johan Stuurman and Trevor Moss.
Who else can say they are excited to go to work? All ten of these people said they were! So what’s the big secret; what makes working at Cape Grace so special? Well, apparently it’s because they consider themselves a big family, are very supportive and have respect for each other, accepting the good sides and the bad. Jane Swartz aka Auntie Jane, who looks after the furniture says, “We are bonded, it is like we have always known each other.” The original owners of Cape Grace made a point of spoiling the staff so that they can spoil the guests. This ethos lives on today and when someone smiles at you at Cape Grace, it’s for real!
Each of these Cape Grace staff members have a story to tell, so watch out for future blog posts where we take a look behind the scenes and tell some of the stories.
Congratulations on their long service to Noeline Mentor, Kim Christians, Jacques Thyssen, Gladys Zilwa (Mama Rose), Trevor Moss, Emily Ironsi, Veronica Gantsho, Johan Stuurman, Jane Swartz (Auntie Jane) and Lance Hofmeister!
Brought to you by Cape Grace’s eavesdropping blogger, Carrie Hampton.