There are some new faces heading up the operations and construction teams at Ryman Healthcare’s Murray Halberg Retirement Village.
Greg Barclay is the new Village Manager, transferring over in May from sister village Miriam Corban in Henderson, and Dale Sadler is the new Project Manager, who joined the construction team at the end of 2021.
With great foundations laid, both team leaders are looking forward to bringing their knowledge and expertise to this part of Lynfield.
“I joined Ryman just before the first residents moved in at Miriam Corban, two years ago, with all the various challenges that dealing with Covid posed,” says Greg, who comes from an extensive hospitality background.
In fact, the first move-ins coincided with Auckland returning to lockdown in August 2020 so the challenges were very real.
Despite that, Greg watched a burgeoning community evolve right before his eyes, with new friendships growing, with both residents and staff looking out for each other.
“The residents become like extended family and there is genuine care and affection and I really like that,” he says.
Greg says he already had some idea of what to expect from experiencing ‘the Ryman difference’ from a relative’s point of view.
His parents moved into Edmund Hillary Retirement Village a few years ago and he can say hand on heart that the care Ryman provides is truly ‘good enough for mum and dad’.
“I was impressed with the care packages and weekly Happy Hours, activities and things that Ryman provided. My mum couldn’t speak highly enough of what they did for residents.”
Now, he’s ready to step it up a notch at a bigger village and carry on with what previous manager Grant Costello set in place.
“I really need to thank Grant, he’s laid a great foundation and created an awesome team where everyone is supportive of one another.
“I can see how they have all bonded together to keep the residents and each other safe during Covid over these past two years and I feel lucky to carry that legacy on.”
And Greg has already proved he’s not afraid to roll his sleeves up when necessary.
“I have gone back to my roots and jumped in behind the bar a couple of times at Happy Hour. It’s a great way to say hello to all the residents.”
Meanwhile, Dale has had his own experience of the ‘Ryman difference’ on the other side of the fence with the construction team.
Having worked on mainly industrial builds in his native South Africa and then numerous apartment blocks since arriving in New Zealand eight years ago, being a ‘Rymanian’ has been unique in his career to date, he says.
“There’s a real focus on personal wellbeing and looking after one another and I have found that quite refreshing,” says Dale.
“You often don’t see that, the focus is seldom on the people building the building, it’s always on the end result, so this is a Ryman thing.”
He admits to being unsure of what to expect with how Covid would affect the running of the site but thanks to the open communication encouraged on site the disruption has been minimal.
“It hasn’t been as complex as I thought it would be, but I think that’s been helped just by the nature of the guys on site. Nobody is trying to protect information or be secretive, we have encouraged an open environment and because of that we have had very few positive cases on site.”
Covid has prompted other challenges though, particularly affecting resourcing, but that is just another aspect of the job to manage, says Dale.
In the meantime, the focus is getting the next apartment block over the line, expected mid-2023 and then three more apartment blocks after that.
And with the dream team in place, Dale is feeling optimistic.
“We have a diverse bunch of people with such a spectrum of experience from all around the world and all the great ideas that they bring. I’m proud to work with such an amazing team.”