Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Loyal Staff Keep Memories Going

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Loyal Staff Keep Memories Going

Article excerpt

Byline: Vikki Berardi vikki.berardi@dailymercury.com.au

YOU can't see them, but etched into the polished parquetry dance floor are the footprints of countless brides and grooms, wedding guests, party goers, corporate speakers and behind-the-scenes hotel staff.

Bridal Waltzes that echoed through the walls to tunes from Spandau Ballet to Coldplay are recorded in photo albums and on video tapes, on digital cameras and i-phones.

Since 1988 the Ocean International hotel has been the venue for weddings, conferences, romantic weekends and family holidays. Families and friends have celebrated new and old lives - weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and christenings.

As a venue the Ocean International is an icon. Many remember grooving the night away in Schooners night club with the famous portholes into the swimming pool, or raising a glass for a toast in Spinnakers function rooms. In quiet majesty, over its 20 year history, the Ocean International has become steeped in character and history.

In a secret spot, well hidden from the public eye, there is a hidden wall, tattooed with the signatures of each member of staff that has worked at the OI (as it is fondly known among staff) over the past two decades. Scrawled sentiments written by hands that have made a thousand beds, scrubbed countless bathrooms, cooked and served room service at 3am, carried infinite plates, glasses, wine bottles, handed out keys and clothed and dressed tables over and over again, for the past 20 years.

Kevin Clarke made his start as a barman on a volunteer basis in 1991. Kevin eventually secured full-time employment and worked through the ranks from front desk, night auditor and front office manager. Today, Kevin is well qualified as assistant manager, keeping an experienced eye on all areas of hotel operation.

Executive housekeeper Karen Warry and her assistant Pinky Pollock have been with the property since 1988. This dynamic duo holds a wealth of knowledge and skill that benefits fellow staff and guests alike.

Front office manager Karina Williams has been with the hotel for six years after starting in the food and beverage area. …

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