Staff Spotlight – Gerry Kelly
Earlier this week, we had the privilege of sitting down with our long-time staff member and friend, Gerry Kelly, to learn more about his life, values, and experiences on and off the golf course! Gerry has worked at Granite Springs for a total of 17 years, and had many great stories and words of wisdom to share with us. Of course, we had to pause this interview a few times to allow Gerry to say hi to each member who walked by!
We thoroughly enjoyed getting to learn more about Gerry, and we’re sure you will too!
Here is our full interview with Gerry:
Question: Please introduce yourself, your job, where you’re from and your hobbies.
Answer: Hi! I’m Gerry Kelly and I am a Starter Marshal at Granite Springs Golf Club. This is my 17th year [working here]. I’m originally from Corner Brook, Newfoundland and hobbies…I guess my only hobbies are sports! I enjoy golf and pickle ball.
Question: What are three words that best describe you?
Answer: [The three words that best describe me are] sense of humour, devoted, and caring. I am also very sincere and genuine when I talk to people.
Question: What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
Answer: One thing I have been blessed with is a loving family. I really can’t see myself living without the family ties, connections, love and support I have.
Question: What is your favourite thing to do?
Answer: My favourite thing to do is to make people happy. I enjoy making people feel good about themselves and helping to bring a smile to their face.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Answer: I have nine wonderful grandchildren and I am very close to them. I have a grandson in Florida who is ten years of age who LOVES to play basketball! We play a lot of one-on-one – and I’m still able to keep up with him! Laughs.
Question: What is your favourite sport?
Answer: Hockey! I watch a lot of hockey – I love the NHL. I have also played over the years.
Question: Please tell us a bit about your family.
Answer: There were 7 of us in my family growing up. I had two parents, three sisters, and one brother. I lost one sister to a heart attack when she was 54. My older sister lives in Pennsylvania – she is a very smart lady! My younger brother – who loves to golf – is still living in Newfoundland. He’s a great salmon fisher! My younger sister lives in Ontario, and enjoys spending time with her grandkids. I have two daughters and one son – who live in Halifax, Florida and Ontario. Between the three of them they have 9 children. I am very proud of my family – we are very closely knit. My youngest grandkid is two and a half, and my oldest grandkids are my 23-year-old twin granddaughters who are taking nursing in Ontario.
Question: What is your favourite quote?
Answer: “No matter how bad you think you have it, there is always somebody out there who has it a lot worse than you.” This quote helps to put things in perspective when you are having a bad day.
Question: Where is the best place you have travelled, and why?
Answer: I am very lucky, as my oldest daughter has lived in Thailand, Malaysia, Poland, Indonesia, and Singapore and I have had the opportunity to travel to all of those places. In particular, there were two I was very fond of – Thailand and Singapore. These two countries were very different, but both beautiful. Singapore was very westernized, clean and safe, and Thailand had a lot of poverty.
Question: Here’s a fun one – what’s the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
Answer: Laughs. I can’t recall! I am a very picky eater…I can’t even remember really eating anything that was weird.
What about in Thailand?
I wouldn’t eat anything – I went to MacDonald’s! More laughter. I am originally from Newfoundland, so I have eaten cod tongues and cod cheeks!
Question: What is something about yourself that might surprise people?
Answer: You probably don’t realize it, but I am a very sensitive person. I take things to heart. I used to take a lot of things personally. I am very sensitive! I have a personality that lends to everybody, young and old – I like to have fun!
Question: How often do you play golf, and what is your best score playing at Granite Springs?
Answer: The best score I have ever had at Granite Springs is 82. On average I probably play about 3 times a week, and when I’m in Florida for 3 months in the winter I play about 4 times a week.
Question: Are there any golf stories you would like to share?
Answer: [This story is about] my best friend, Albert, who also works at this golf course. We started here together 17 years ago! Albert received a call saying Granite Springs was looking for two people to come work at the club. Albert mentioned it to me and we came out. The pro wanted to hire us right away. We said we would think about it, and we did, and the rest is history! We have been here ever since.
People often ask, “what’s the fun part of your job?” and I say, “what’s not to like!” Every morning you get up and go to the golf course, either to work or to play.
Question: Are there any other final comments you would like to add to this interview?
Answer: I retired at a very early age – I was only 57! I had spent 30 years in the banking industry, and I was only 57 when I retired. I don’t know what I would of done in the past 17 years if I wasn’t working here. Thank god I still have my health and strength! [Your job] it has to be fun, and you have to enjoy doing it! Whatever you are doing, you need to do it to the best of your ability and take pride in it. I have made many friends over the years. Many here say to me, “you really enjoy what you’re doing, don’t you?” I am still really enjoying it.
If you don’t have a sense of humour, I don’t think anything else matters.
If I could do it all over again, I think I would have been a psychologist. I am very sensitive towards other people, and I can sense if they are having a problem. If they are having a bad day, I make it a point to ask them if there is anything I can do to make it better. That makes me feel good.
In the service industry, people are the purpose of your work – not an interruption. You always have to make people feel wanted and make them feel good about coming here [to Granite Springs].
We’re very grateful for Gerry’s hard work, sense of humour, and kind heart. It’s a pleasure having him at the course! Stay tuned for more great staff stories – they will be posted regularly!