by Herbie Maltz
I became involved with Highlands House in 1989 when I was co-opted by Cyril Chinn to serve the (then very active) Security Committee.
I went on to chair that committee for many years. This enabled me to get an insight into the inner workings of the Home, and I became more involved.
On a trip to Canada, I arranged a visit to Baycrest Jewish Home. They shared information on how they managed their security and allowed me access to their security manual. It enabled me to introduce new ideas to Highlands House security to update the Home’s security manual.
When CSO was established, they also started assisting us and I made room for them to chair our monthly security meetings.
I was instrumental in organising the electrical fencing for the Home, and raised funds from the Douglas Murray Trust, which was a large contributor to other (non-Jewish) institutions.
The Fundraising Committee, of which I was a member, also embraced Public Relations. On this committee, it was a privilege to work with Hacky and Fanny Edelstein (both now deceased), Abe and Leina Sank and Cynthia Maresky. We held several Race Days and Golf Day fundraisers. The Cowa Dunga Day fundraiser stands out as a truly unique event. It was a great success and enjoyed by all. It was lovely to see our senior staff and committee members young and old all working side-by-side.
Cantors in Song at the City Hall (now Parliament, for the time being) was another event we held, together with Barry Braun.
I’m proud that during my time at Highlands House, I also introduced speakers to the Home, namely Judge Dennis Davis, Paul Sulcas and JP Landman.
A personal passion of mine is staff training, and I arranged for senior staff to attain business skills through the kind offices of Raymond Schkolne of Sanlam, who arranged for our staff to attend Sanlam Education courses. We also secured government SETA courses.
On request, I made changes to and updated the Home’s Constitution under the watchful eye of Senior Council Adv Gerald Gordon. This gave me further insight into the Home’s operations.
I served as vice president and then president of the Home between 2011 and 2013. During my term of office, I visited Sandringham Gardens in Johannesburg and was extremely impressed with their Lifestyle Centre. I felt we needed those sorts of facilities at Highlands House. We therefore, upgraded our Social Activities Centre to become the new Lifestyle Centre. This is a much-improved space where many diverse activities are enjoyed by all in the Home. Whilst president, I served on the finance committee until I retired, using my income tax experience to the benefit of the admissions process.
I resuscitated the Maintenance & Property Committee with Abe Sank’s input. We were able to co-opt experts in the field of property, namely Joe Rozofsky, Brian Rabinowitz, Maon Moss and Selwyn Greenhill. The Home subsequently appointed Selwyn in a full-time capacity to handle maintenance requirements.
After 31 years of service to the Home, I retired. However, I still keep in contact with many at Highlands House, and still run the monthly Men’s Club Meetings.
I wish to thank many of the residents for their friendship over the years, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Finally, a special word of thanks and appreciation to Pam Kopman, who was such a competent, efficient and diplomatic person and assisted me over the years in the various posts I held.
1989-2020, Honorary Life Member as of 2022
Highlands House www.highlandshouse.co.za
• Published in the April 2023 Edition – Click here to start reading.
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