Still no rest for hospital hero

2016-10-05 12:54
Faldela Martin, farewell to Groote Schuur Hospital but not her commitment to make a difference in the community.

Faldela Martin, farewell to Groote Schuur Hospital but not her commitment to make a difference in the community. (Gary van Dyk)

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An era in the administration department at Groote Schuur Hospital came to an end last week with the retirement of Faldela Martin, a senior administration officer at the facility.
But, she has no plans of resting or living a life of leisure.

“There’s still a lot I want to do in this world,” she says, surrounded by cards with messages of support from her many colleagues and friends she has made over the years.

While she was working as an administrator at the facility she worked tirelessly in other spheres in various unions and in the community for the development of youth, adults and social justice.

She was appointed as the first secretary of the Public Allied Workers Union of South Africa at the hospital in the early 80s and served on the local management and labour committee and the provincial chamber.

In 2004 she joined the Public Servants’ Association of South Africa and was that same year appointed as chairperson at the hospital as well as the provincial representative of the Public Health Social Development Sectoral Bargaining Council.

Dr Bhavna Patel, CEO of the hospital, says in a letter of thanks to her that her commitment to her work and her passion to ensure that all workers were treated fairly resulted in her being involved in so many committees in the hospital and in the community.

“Her loyalty to the hospital is evident in the years that she has spent here and throughout this time she has performed her duties with a high standard of ethics, commitment and determination.”

While Faldela may be taking a break to spend more time with her two grandchildren, she feels there is still a lot left for her to do in her community.

“Our communities still face many problems and I am passionate about making a difference,” she says.

“I still serve on a number of organisations and now I will be able to spend more time in that capacity.

“My years at Groote Schuur have been fantastic and taught me to face problems head-on and find solutions. It gave me the opportunity to nurture so many hidden talents and motivate people to always strive to be the best. I feel that in our communities we have those same people young and old who can still achieve their positive potential and make a difference in their neighbourhoods.”

Does this dynamic woman ever rest?

“Yes, sometimes I have to recharge the batteries,” she laughs.

“That is when I head out into the countryside. The open spaces, the fresh air and peaceful scenery clear my head and ready me for the next challenge.”

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