GEORGE NEWS - It all started with an advert for a vacancy in the local newspaper, Outeniqualander, back in 1981. Newly arrived in George, Barbara "Barbs" Heugh applied for the position and started her career of 39 years at Group Editors.
"I was appointed, and never left!" says Barbara, who is now celebrating her retirement after nearly four decades in the print industry. Barbara was a jack of all trades and at the time of her retirement she was responsible for putting together the newspapers' dummies - a taxing task very much like completing an intricate puzzle.
Doing advertisement layout while ensuring enough space for editorial is not for sissies.
Frank Abrahams, better known as "Pan", also decided to pack away his leads after more than 45 years of service at Group Editors. Both Barbara and Pan have been with the company since its formation years. They met in the middle 1980s when Pan was transferred from Oudtshoorn Courant to George Herald.
"Through ups and downs, Group Editors has become my home away from home," says Barbara. "Luckily I am not a writer, so I will not be writing my memoirs. So, what happened at Group Editors stays at Group Editors! Working for a company for so many years, many of my colleagues have become family - never to be forgotten."
Production manager Deon Joubert says Barbara will be missed for a number of reasons. "On a work level, but never more so than her contribution to the waistline of Group Editors' employees. Her willingness to test recipes on her fellow staff members is legendary, while the smell of toast will linger in the production office for many years.
"There is no-one who can make toast taste as good as Barbs can!"
Pan describes his long-time colleague as conscientious, spending hours at work, making sure her day's work is done. "She always appeared calm, even in the midst of a crisis. She loved cooking at work and greeted everyone in the office before starting her day," says Pan.
When asked for a few words on Barbara's departure, Group Editors owner Peter Moolman said, "What does one say when one of your most loyal employees retires? There are no words to describe your emotions and gratitude for all those years of loyal service."
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