Sofitel Melbourne On Collins
It is with a “heavy heart” that I pen this article. Due to a very, very bad fall at her home last week, Shirley, lost the life she loved. She was only 57 years young. She spent a couple of days in ICU never regaining consciousness. Her dear friend, Greg Moses was with her until the end.
As reflected in her photo, she always had a smile and a kind word. However, she was very highly skilled and negotiated in a fair and positive way achieving the outcome she had set out to achieve.
Some of you may have been fortunate enough to be presented with your trophy by Shirley and Clive Scott, General Manager at Sofitel and Collins who shared her love of DanceSport, particularly the Australian DanceSport Championship.
Shirley loved life with a passion, she loved dance in all its forms but particularly DanceSport and social ballroom. DanceSport has lost a wonderful supporter, and a dear friend. She worked hard to ensure the partnership with Accor and Sofitel on Collins was successful.
Shirley had been 29 year plus with Accor. She had been at Sofitel Melbourne on Collins since January 2015. She was the Associate Director of Strategic Partnerships. An amazing clever professional who was totally committed to her job. The people with whom she worked were her dear friends and family.
I was first introduced to Shirley around 1997 by Graham Wilson. There started our partnership and friendship. Shirley had helped me through some pretty dark times as we worked through three world championship events, in 8 years not to mention the Australian DanceSport Championship and the 2011 Asian Pacific. She was instrumental in securing sponsorship to host the ADS General and Directors Meetings and Accommodation at the Ibis Hotel in Therry Street for a number of years.
Sofitel on Collins was the home to many who travelled to Melbourne in July and December. Certainly, our international athletes, competitors and team members called it home during their stay, Shirley and her team were always there to greet them with that beautiful smile that was Shirley. She was so kind to me personally and to the sport.
Shirley, had private lessons regularly, loved her dancing shoes and obtained a Highly Commended Pass for several of her examinations with the Australian Dancing Society. An amazing lady at many levels whose inner peace and strength was contagious. .
It was only last year, that we farewelled a mutual friend, Julie Wentworth. Julie had been a great mentor to Shirley. She looked so well. She was on top of her cancer battle. Amazing!
It seems so surreal, and I will miss her dearly our chats, and her other point of view her wisdom. Not to forget the latte we planned when life got back to normal.
I know Accor and Sofitel on Collins will miss her skill set and her friendship. In fact she will be missed by a raft of people but will join many who have gone before her in the Ballroom up above. REST IN PEACE dear Shirley, FOREVER YOUNG AND VIBRANT.
Margaret Lonsdale OAM