Farewell to VW’s longest serving woman

2016-03-24 06:00
=VWSA Chairman and MD, Thomas Schaefer wishing Julia Potgieter farewell at the VWSA Uitenhage Plant exit.         Photo: David dettmann

=VWSA Chairman and MD, Thomas Schaefer wishing Julia Potgieter farewell at the VWSA Uitenhage Plant exit. Photo: David dettmann

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On 1 April 1969, Julia Potgieter walked into Volkswagen for the first time, 47 years later, she retired from Volkswagen with her head held high after an amazing career.

At a special tea held in her honour she was able to reminisce with VWSA Chairman and MD, Thomas Schaefer, about her years of service in the company.

Julia is a special woman at VWSA, loved by many and respected by all her finance colleagues. Not only is she the longest serving woman at VWSA, but currently the longest serving employee.

A career spanning almost half a century, all of which was spent in the Finance Division has given Julia many wonderful memories, such as going for a swim at lunch time in the company pool and the introduction of the computer.

The Managing Director of the day was Albert Theunissen, VWSA was building the Beetle, the 411 and the T3 and total production volume for the year was a mere 34 133 units compared to the 2015 figure of 120 000.

Julia says that she has always enjoyed working at VWSA and walks away with many friends and great memories. Her sage advice for her younger colleagues was to “Always keep a back-up” – so relevant in the age of electronic communication!

Five years ago Julia was diagnosed with breast cancer, but says that the support she received from her Volkswagen Family was a blessing, “The company was so understanding. That was one of the very special things that warms my heart when I think of VWSA” she reminisces.

Looking forward Julia is excited that she doesn’t have to wake up early anymore. She will spend her time travelling between Johannesburg and Cape Town to visit her grandchildren.

“We wish Julia the very best in her future endeavours and thank her sincerely for her exceptional dedication and years of service. Julia is one of many loyal and hardworking VWSA Family Members and with employees like that, I am proud to be the leader of this great company,” said Thomas Schaefer.


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