Carer calls time after 37 years
CHRIS Hartfiel has only been retired for a few weeks, but already her friendly smile and calming presence is being missed by staff and patients at Nowlanvil Residential Care.
After more than three decades of caring for elderly residents and training up-and-coming employees at the Flinders View facility, the much-loved mentor and friend decided now was the time to retire so she could spend more time with family.
Working at the one organisation for 37 years is a wonderful feat, and it was a job which Mrs Hartfiel loved going to every day.
"Working there was truly amazing.
"I felt so privileged to work there with all the residents and the staff," she said.
During her shifts, Mrs Hartfiel was constantly seen attending to residents and ensuring their every need was met quickly and swiftly.
That's why when she announced her resignation it left the entire community in shock.
"A lot of people said to me they were surprised to see me go, but when you know the time is right, you have to make that choice," she said.
As a sign of appreciation, her colleagues, which are more commonly referred to as friends, decided to throw a surprise going away party.
"I was surprised to see so many people there. I was very thankful they could take the time out of their busy schedules," she said.
"On the day of my resignation, I made sure to go around to every single staff member and tell them how much of a great job they are doing."
Friend and colleague Laurie Mennega was full of praise for Mrs Hartfiel, who she described as an unforgettable person.
"She is a wonderful person and she has sadly been missed here already," she said.
"You cannot work at a place for 37 years and not make an impact on the people.
"She was loved by the patients and also by all the staff.
"Everybody remembers her as a lovely person with a wonderful smile.
"She was definitely one person you could go to for help."