Rand Aid Association long service awards

These employees received 15, 20 or 25-year service awards: Sr Dorah Moalusi, Shelly Joy, Helen Petrie and Tammy Neilson, and in front: Sr Mary Steeneveldt and Adèl Grobbelaar.

Helen awarded for 25 years’ service

The manager of the Elphin Lodge Complex, Helen Petrie, was honoured for 25 years of dedication to Rand Aid Association at the NPO’s long service awards on August 23.

Helen joined Rand Aid on 24 May 1993 as an accounts administration clerk at Elphin Lodge. In 2004 she became responsible for the sale of life rights units at Elphin Lodge and placements in the Ron Smith Care Centre. Three years later, in December 2006, she was appointed to the position of manager.

“Helen has numerous excellent qualities that makes her a most valued staff member and colleague. She is committed, dedicated, loyal and responsible. Moreover, she loves the residents of Elphin Lodge and will go out of her way to improve their well-being. Her heart is in the right place!” said Rand Aid CEO Rae Brown.

Despite her impressive service record, Helen is a ‘newcomer’ when compared to Frans Mpete, Rand Aid’s longest serving employee, who has racked up 43 years of service.

Since implementing the awards 13 years ago, 1 019 awards representing 9 685 years of service have been handed out.

At this year’s awards, 32 staff members were recognised for a combined 305 years of service, ranging from five years to 10, 15, 20 and 25 years.

“I thank each staff member for the devoted service they give to Rand Aid and its residents,” said Rae.

The awards were presented by John Robinson, the chairman of the Rand Aid board.

The other recipients were:


Sr Dorah trained at Natalspruit hospital and qualified as a professional nurse in 1978.  She completed her midwifery at Baragwanath hospital in 1980. Dorah worked at the Soweto Home for the Aged for six years before joining Rand aid Association in 2003.

 Sr Dorah worked as charge sister of a number of Ron Smith Care Centre wings until her retirement a few weeks ago.


Sr Mary qualified as a Professional nurse in 1958 in KZN and began working at the Ron Smith Care Centre on in January 2003. She held the position of sister on night duty and worked in both Woodlands and Cedar Park. Sr Mary has always made the residents her number one priority and always goes the extra mile in teaching her nurses. She is known to be strict and never compromises on the quality of care of residents. She is always punctual and is respected amongst her colleagues and subordinates.


Tammy started as an intern under Barbara Brooks, the then PA to Leon Ghavalas, in 1992. She left Rand Aid in 1996.

On the 1st of October 2003 she was employed at Rand Aid as a special projects assistant. She conducted marketing surveys on potential admissions from surrounding areas into Rand Aid before moving to Elphin Lodge as an accounts clerk until 2005 when she was appointed to the position of deputy manager of Tarentaal. In 2008, she was appointed as manager.


Shelly left the banking environment to join Rand Aid – Elphin Lodge as a Craft and Recreation assistant at the end of 1998. She really enjoyed working there but after a few years she felt like she needed a change and was fortunate to move to Tarentaal to work as the receptionist.

After a few years a need arose for a craft and recreation assistant at the old Wedge Gardens (now Inyoni) and Shelly moved there, which was quite a learning curve for her.  Then due to circumstances, half of Wedge was moved to Casa Serana (now Thembalami). Shelly worked as a house mother until Wedge before moving to Tarentaal, which has been her happy home since.


Adèl started working at Rand Aid in 1998 as a social worker. This was not her first time at Rand Aid; she was an intern student in 1980 while Wedge Gardens was still situated on the Marlboro property.

She worked as a therapist until July 2005 and was then promoted to manager of Wedge Gardens. She has seen many changes during her tenure and was instrumental in the research and implementation of the full circle treatment programme.  Adèl was a board member of AA South Africa for four years and is currently the chairperson of the research portfolio for Sanca National.


Three people who found long-term accommodation at Wedge Gardens – Patrick Mahlelehlele, Paul Swanepoel Roland Chapman – were also recognised for the contribution they have made to Rand Aid.

Patrick Mahlelehlele – Patrick started off as a Reid A resident orderly. He then became the resident laundry attendant at Wedge Gardens and also did escort duties to hospitals. He is a very quiet, even-tempered guy who does what is expected of him. He enjoys his sport channels.





Paul Swanepoel – Affectionately known as ‘Grumpy, Paul is a very hardworking resident plumber and builder who is always on duty and always ready to assist residents and staff alike. He is an all-rounder who knows every nook and cranny in the village… every geyser and every lock and all the blockages!

Paul takes great pride in his work and prefers to manage call-outs to Elphin Lodge himself rather than leave things to the after-hours team. He’s never been concerned about his weekend being disrupted by blockages or breakdowns.

A man happy in his work and always concerned about village and care centre maintenance issues, he never knocks off without checking that no urgent jobs remain.

Paul’s not a smiley man but he is direct, competent and, under the gruff exterior, a very caring man.

Roland Chapman – Roland started off being a resident orderly in Reid B on the old premises and when it changed to the Ibis ward he took charge of the kitchen in the ward. The ladies back then loved him and enjoyed being served by him.

He then moved into the store where he is still today. Roland does an awesome job and is extremely helpful. He always has a joke or two up his sleeve and loves teasing whoever crosses paths with him.  He is well known and loved in the organisation.



A large contingent of board and staff members gathered in the Tarentaal village hall for the long service awards.

Helen Petrie, the manager of the Elphin Lodge Complex, receives her 25-year service award from John Robinson, the chairman of the Rand Aid board.

Big smiles from Pertunia Tshabalala, the Wedge Gardens receptionist who was recognised for 10 years of service.

The Tarentaal village committee was responsible for serving tea and coffee at the long service awards, while the catering was done by Steve Burton and his team from Cookchill, Rand Aid’s in-house catering division.

Suzie Webber – Elphin Lodge accounts clerk (10-year award); Ayanda Matthews, Rand Aid’s GM Compliance and Social React Division; and Ben Button, head office IT communications officer (10-year award).


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