A Bundaberg hospital is this week celebrating 115 years of collective service by four members of its hospitality staff.
Judy Christensen, Sandra Gelhaar, Norma Stevenson, and Doreen Artcheua have served up 51, 30, 28, and six years of service respectively at Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg.
Executive officer Catherine Hackney said the role of the hospitality team was essential to the running of the hospital.
“This wonderful team ensure our patients are admitted and discharged with ease, they prepare and provide meals, clean towels and sheets – they basically do everything possible to ensure the comfort and smooth stay of patients in our care,” Ms Hackney said.
After 51 and 30 years of service, Judy Christensen and Sandra Gelhaar have clocked off at the hospital for the last time.
Judy Christensen began her career at Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg greeting and farewelling patients in reception, before moving into accounts.
In 1996, Ms Christensen became a Special Minister.
She retired from full-time work in 2003, and then began volunteering across the hospital, including on the hospital’s Auxiliary.
Ms Christensen said she’s seen an incredible number of changes over the years, including significant advancements in medicine and technology.
“It was 1969 when I started work full-time at the Mater and there wasn’t a computer in sight,” Ms Christensen said.
“It was such a big change when they came in, but we work in such an innovative environment, there are always changes being made for the better,” Ms Christensen said.
Ms Gelhaar worked across numerous roles during her three decades of service, including on the ward as a cleaner and delivering meals to patients from the kitchen.
“One of my favourite roles was working in the kitchen and delivering meals and helping people,” Ms Gelhaar said.
“I will miss the patients and my co-workers the most.”
Mater Private Hospital Bundaberg Hospitality Services Manager Gayle Knickel said both Judy and Sandra will be dearly missed.
“Judy is known for her generosity of spirit and compassion when visiting patients, with her gentle nature putting people at ease – her whole demeanour in the ways she approached people is something still treasured by us all,” Ms Knickel said.
“It is Sandra’s self-professed tagline to say she ‘has Mater stamped on her head’, but she has always been extremely loyal and a dedicated member of our Mater hospitality family.”