[+] Big plans, no rush: in the expansion of Crystalbrook hotels
On his 21st birthday, Crystalbrook general manager Geoff York was doing something unusual: he was serving food and drink to other people.
But that wasn’t the unusual part of his historic birthday – York was living and working in South Africa, earning a whopping R30 (about AU$3) a month to gain invaluable work experience for his catering degree. and hotel management in Victoria.
“I wanted to see people. I had read a lot of Wilbur Smith books and thought Africa sounded interesting. said York.
“So I wrote to Southern Suns Hotel Group in South Africa looking for an opportunity. They wrote back and I left.
“It was probably the best experience of my life. It was a big hotel group and I moved all over the place, working in Johannesburg, Eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga) and Durban, among other cities.
“It was a progressive hotel group and I learned a lot. More importantly, it confirmed for me that I wanted to be in the hospitality industry.
It was in the late 1970s when York made his decision to travel to South Africa, a time before the internet and the 24/7 television and radio news cycle. So York took its decision based on what we would consider today to be limited information.
“I think life is about gaining new experiences and that certainly gave me the impetus to work in an industry where that option would always be available,” York said.