Even in a place like Lord Howe Island, there are few things that remain constant for a quarter of a century. People come and people go, as do the latest fads and fashions, but there’s one woman who’s seen it all – our Head of Housekeeping, Carol Deacon.
Carol started at Pinetrees in 1993 when Pixie, Ed, Kerry and Bruce were running the lodge. Back then, a teenage Dani would return during school holidays to work for Carol in housekeeping.
“Dani would get off the plane in her school uniform and Pixie would put her straight to work in housekeeping or in the restaurant or anywhere really…”
Dani is now Carol’s boss, and speaking to Carol it’s clear that their relationship is all about family “it’s a very generous place to work, sometimes I’ll be working on a Sunday afternoon and Dani will send me home to play with the grandkids”.
But what makes Carol even more of a rare gem is that over those years she hasn’t lost her spark. Like a good bottle of red wine, she just keeps getting better with age.
Carol is like our very own flying unicorn – so unique that you have to pinch yourself to remind you that she’s real. She’s been coming to work for 23 years and can still turn up any morning of the week and have a good laugh. If you’ve walked through the lodge and heard her cackle, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we’ve got a pet kookaburra in the laundry.
Last year, our staff took a trip out on the Lagoon to go snorkelling and one member of staff came rushing up to the surface to report a genuine mermaid sighting. Alas, it was our 68 year old Carol gracefully gliding by (down deep). Back in the 1980’s she and her husband ran a dive business on Lord Howe, which explains the mermaid like qualities, and she’s been at Pinetrees ever since.
Carol’s the reason your room looks impeccable – one of the toughest jobs in the gig – and she’s been at it for a quarter of a century. If we had mobile phone reception at the lodge, she’d be trending daily with her very own hashtag #legend.
When Carol isn’t looking after the cleanliness of our rooms and the lodge, you’ll find her driving about the island collecting BBQ’s when they’re finished (equipped with a truck and bus license). All in a day’s work for the 68 year-old grandmother of 3.
“I love being around people and the interaction,” says Carol when asked what her favourite part of the job is. “I would have met thousands of guests and hundreds of staff.”
Spending 23 years at the top of your game also comes with some well-earned privileges. Many new staff at Pinetrees have made the mistake of casually sitting in “Carol’s Chair” at our staff lunch table. It is definitely a mistake you only make once. But in true Carol fashion, she laughs it off… “I’ve just always sat there!”
Pinetrees is a proud and long-standing family business and it’s people like Carol who help make us feel like a family.
Next time you’re at Pinetrees and you see her walking by, say G’day to a living #legend! Carol has well and truly earned her ‘Super Gran’ status within the Pinetrees family.