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Farewell to one of transport’s nicest ladies

March 14, 2018

Margaret Phillipson, customer service manager at FOCUS, has retired. CHARLEEN CLARKE pays tribute to one of transport’s finest and nicest ladies…

I have a confession to make: when Tina Monteiro, publisher of FOCUS, told me that she’d hired Margaret ten years ago, I had my doubts. They were two-fold: Margaret was a banking-industry veteran – so she wasn’t an advertising guru. Also, she knew little or nothing about transport. I truly wondered if she would cope.

She didn’t cope. Instead, she excelled in her position as customer service manager of FOCUS, building up solid relationships with all her colleagues and clients. Margaret did so well because she actually really cared about her clients and Charmont Media Global, the publisher of FOCUS. As such, she built up a loyal client base … and established many friends in the industry too.

I speak on behalf of the entire FOCUS team and, in fact, the industry at large, when I say that we will all miss Margaret. Personally, I will miss her incredible loyalty, her devotion to her clients and – most importantly – the fact that she’s so jolly nice to be around. It has been a real pleasure to work with Margaret for ten years. I’m not the only person who will miss Margaret, as this flurry of tributes shows:

“It is such sad news to learn that you will be leaving Focus on Transport magazine. You will be dearly missed. All the best for the future.”

Jacqueline Fourie, Mercedes-Benz South Africa

“May I first thank you for your role and considerable contribution to the industry over so many years, and wish you a wonderful and well-earned retirement. Please stay in touch.”

Jeff Osborne, Gumtree Automotive

“Best of luck with your future endeavours. Wishing you great success. Thank you for your service and feedback.”

Denico Brand, Maxe

“Margaret is always happy to see you, even if she is having a bad day. She will be missed by all FOCUS customers and staff.”

Brian Clarke, Bandag

“So sad to see you go, but best of luck with your future adventures.”

Tarryn Rudman, LKDA Strategic Creative Advertising

“Although it was a long time ago since I attended my last RFA conference (which is no doubt the last time I saw you), I will always remember you for your laughter, sense of humour and pleasant approach to business and people. My having Scots blood no doubt added to the fond recollection. Go well and I hope we bump into one another at some other occasion.”

Peter Proctor, Avis Fleet

“Margaret, you have been a constant and vital part of FOCUS for so many years. Whatever the future holds for you, might it be peaceful and fulfilling.”

Sid Beeton, One Insurance

“After chatting to you for many years and only meeting you in person more recently, this is a sad communication. Whichever journey you are about to embark on, take care as you go.”

Jeanette Clifton, Toyota South Africa Motors

“What a loss for us! Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to your clients! It was an absolute pleasure working with you! Your enthusiasm and professionalism will be missed.”

Louise Jerling, OMD

“Margaret, it has been a pleasure knowing you. Best wishes for the future.”

Rob Sowry, Nitralife

“Wishing you all the best in your retirement!”

Shirley Ritchie, Media Shop

“It has been great working with you – wishing you all the very best on your new venture.”

Maggie Pronto, Media Shop

“Your retirement is sad news indeed! It’s been great getting to know you since my introduction to trucks during my Isuzu Trucks days! And I’ll certainly miss the creative coffee meetings. Enjoy your travels and adventures with your hubby.”

Laureen Stock, UD Trucks

“Your retirement is bittersweet indeed. I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavours.”

Nombuso Khanyile, SRI Group

“That is sad news that you are leaving FOCUS. I wish you everything of the best and pray all goes well for your future endeavours.”

Jennifer Wendy Emam, Aon South Africa

“This is so very, very sad. It was so nice to work with you. I wish you all the best. I will miss all your visits at shows and our lovely chats. Look after yourself.”

Delano Boshoff, Henred Fruehauf/SA Truck Bodies

“I am sorry to hear that you are leaving. We are truly grateful for your support and understanding while dealing with us. I wish you all the best in your new endeavour and look after yourself.”

Mark Diab, VECV South Africa

My friends call me a glomad (a global nomad lest you don’t get it). That’s a particularly apt word, because I am always trawling all corners of the globe, looking for stories. As a result, I have slept in some seriously strange places – on a bed of ice in the Arctic circle, on the floor in a traditional Japanese hotel, on the sand dunes in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan … and even on the floor of a Thai cargo ship. Mostly however I tend to sleep on aircraft (if I had a dog, he would bark at me when I eventually come home). I am passionate about trucks, cars, travel, food, wine, people and hugs – so I write about all these things. Except the hugs.

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