'Farewell' and 'goodbye' are no easy words to say, even during a major occasion. The retirement farewell party of Paul Erasmus, the department’s inspirational Structural Chief Engineer did not just come as a surprise as it was assembled by his colleagues under the leadership of Dr Stanley Gichia, Chief Professional for Professional Services Directorate.
The occasion was organised for Paul Erasmus, a long-standing colleague who retires and leaves Public Works by end of this month. This was a ‘send-off’ that left some of his colleagues uneasy but also understood that there is no goodbye in ‘goodbye’. Saying ‘goodbye’ to Paul at an exclusively lavish party held at the a restaurant in Cascades on Monday evening was something of a bitter-sweet experience, especially for those who knew him particularly well. For those who extended few words on the evening, it was really an important role to getting it right in letting Paul know how much his contribution has been worth and appreciated.
Above is the gifts hand-over session
Paul Erasmus joined Public Works nearly 11 years ago, having realised as a young man that he just was academically destined to become a Structural Chief Engineer. However, our gain is that he has been part of the fabric of Public Works ever since, with that kind-hearted, well-principled and firm attitude but remaining being a most soft-spoken person. Paul’s great sense of humour has made him such a great colleague to work with for so long.
The team that will see its future footing without Paul seen here seated in white shirt with his wife Cecilia
Legacy is an over-used word nowadays but when it comes to what Paul has achieved in his time, the word becomes justified. He has done and achieved so many things to record level, overseeing a variety of infrastructure projects within his professional sphere. Perhaps his biggest contribution was in leading three hospital projects, namely the Rietvlei, Mosvold and Itshelejuba, which as all his colleagues know. This has enabled Public Works to achieve a firm footing for the future. Although, sadly, it is one time we all now have to face without his guiding hand.
Paul Erasmus is going to be missed dearly, of course, but he is just retiring. There will be things that he will miss too, like the students he worked with so closely. It is just for us to say a big thank you for everything he has done, for being a great colleague, a friend and wish him all the very best for a long and happy retirement with his family. Happy retirement, Paul!!
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