Behind the scenes for 30 years

Behind the scenes for 30 years

Rooms Division Manager, Dawn Schaffers celebrates 30 years at The St James Retirement Hotel this year.

She is a country girl at heart, her father hailing originally from Goedverwacht mission station and her mother from Colesberg in the Karoo.. Dawn’s mother moved to Cape Town to find work and that is where she was born, so in spite of her roots, she is also a true Capetonian.

Dawn was introduced to The St James, at that time that it was a very popular venue for well-heeled holiday makers. Her cousin was the housekeeper. She was short-staffed and asked the young Dawn to assist as a casual for a few days. After her first day Dawn says she went home in tears, totally overwhelmed after being allocated 11 rooms to clean and only having completed 8 by the time she was due to go home.

Her mum counselled her to go back the next day. “Shaffers don’t give up. Approach your work one task at a time and life one day at a time and all will be well.” Dawn soon had things running smoothly and today she the Rooms Division Manager of the Retirement Hotel.

Other than a short stint as a waitress on the legendary St James Terrace, Dawn has worked behind the scenes manning the well-oiled machine that makes things run so smoothly in one capacity or another.

“There are two things that are essential in delivering flawless care to our residents” says Dawn. “The dedication, high standards and attention to detail of our staff and the respect and friendship that holds this team together. Headed by Managing Director, Mrs Gael Baldwin, we are like a family who looks out for each other to ensure that the Retirement Hotel runs smoothly always. We have a passion for the work that we do and that makes all the difference.”

When asked what qualities she subscribes to, Dawn unhesitatingly responds: “Loyalty, honesty and respect for your fellow human beings.”

Little wonder that the management team at The St James have such a long service history among them. It must be a great place to work!