Security & Maintenance staff in the village

Hashtags met with three of the many heroes who volunteered to live at Azuri Ocean & Golf Estate as from March 20th and throughout the confinement, an initiative that allowed them to assure round-the-lock security, maintenance, and gardening assistance for those staying in the village. Learn about their experiences and outlooks from having passed more than 8 weeks amongst the residents of Azuri.

Azuri’s on-site Security Team was comprised of myself and 5 other persons. Other members of the team came in from outside on a rotational basis.

What were your priorities for maintaining security during the lockdown period at Azuri?

Our first and foremost priority was to control access to the entire village, and to ensure that these incoming persons were accompanied directly to their destination, and nowhere else. This included the main entrance, in all directions, up to and including its perimeter. All data regarding entering persons (including full name, copy of ID, entry and exit times, and body temperature) had to be logged electronically. This was a highly coordinated and intricate process that required intense scrutiny and a considerable amount of time. 

Other priorities included being involved with maintaining a clean and healthy environment within the village, performing contact tracing for any known cases of coronavirus (there were none), and submitting daily reports as required by the CEO, maintaining constant communication with the NCG, Ministry of Health, and Police (who visited every day to hold regular meetings and carry out controls). 

What were your challenges?

Having to be available 24/7 for any security or health issue. Security needs were enhanced by an increase in people attempting to get inside one way or another: by sea and river, via the cane fields, and often by night. During the day, fishermen tried to use the waters which are no longer being used by residents and visitors. More lighting was installed throughout to help with visibility and to dissuade offenders.

Having to be on top of controlling and reminding people of the regulations, and to practice social distancing. Most people ‘got this’, so Azuri didn’t have to police it, but we were required to look for abuses (only 1 person was taking advantage, but they ended up aligning with the procedures). 

What gave you the most pride and satisfaction?

Being responsible for providing consistent protection for the residents during this pandemic. Residents expressing their gratitude by sending food to our teams including cakes, fruit baskets, and more.

What are you most grateful for?

Management gave us ‘carte blanche’ to put the protection plan into action. My staff was very willing and available to work over and beyond the call of duty. They put their hearts into their work. I was able to have my daughter stay with me for a part of the time.

The on-site Operations Team included myself plus 2 technicians and 3 cleaners. We assured that everything relating to the proper functioning of individual properties was done as close to normal as in usual times. 

What were your priorities during the lockdown period at Azuri?

To assure regular cleaning and maintenance for the individual properties, such as repairing water leaks and appliances, cleaning swimming pools, removing branches, unblocking grease traps and waste water pipes; and to carry out work generally done by contractors, including pest control treatment, and gardening services. 

We worked closely with Julian’s and Kathan’s teams, even at night ensuring lights remained on during bad weather, and assisting with security on the estate.

What were your challenges?

The main challenge was assisting off-site team members to minimise time and risk associated with the learning curve for working remotely, thereby ensuring excellent communication between them and the on-site technical team, who acted also as the clients’ direct link with the department.

The greatest challenge for the on-site team was to ensure the wellbeing of our clients’ properties, and to find solutions to performing works that are typically assured by contractors, while continuing to provide our clients with the high level of service they are accustomed.

What gave you the most pride and satisfaction?

We accomplished our mission to keep the properties and village grounds clean and in working order, and to assure everyone’s safety and comfort. We brought the challenge of keeping Azuri’s maintenance response to a higher level despite the demands brought on by the confinement. 

It made me happy to receive positive feedback from the clients. Some said that “Azuri is a magnificent village compared to elsewhere”, and that we were doing so much to make their lives comfortable. 

What are you most grateful for?

I am grateful for Guy Régis’ unwavering support. He was always encouraging us in our mission, and he did everything to ensure we had whatever tools and equipment we needed.

I am grateful for a motivated team who understands what’s expected of them, who work together to make things happen, and who form a professional and dependable team. In particular, I want to thank those working from home who swiftly assured their admin and accounting tasks: Lucille, Karishma, Neeta,
Dolina, Thierry, and Steven. 

I am grateful to the Homeowners for taking time to make dinners for us, and providing small gestures of support that helped our team feel at home. 

I am grateful to the hotel staff, who hosted our team for dinner from time to time.

I am grateful for my family who were always available from the distance to give me a boost, and help my morale.

I am grateful for a new-found talent – cooking.

I was thrilled to be made designated cook in my apartment group. 

This situation has brought people together – it has turned out to be ‘un mal pour un bien’, and a defining moment for me as a front-line worker. I enjoyed group living, and learning about others.

I am grateful that everything went well.

As Technical Manager for Azuri Estates, Julien oversees the maintenance of its infrastructure, including water distribution, landscaping of common areas, roads and lighting, and waste management. Azuri operates as a municipality, responsible for ensuring collection of waste, keeping trash bins clean and sanitized, checking and replacing lighting, cleaning roads and drains, collection of recycled materials, and overseeing contractors who assure landscaping, regular fumigation of the property, and beach cleaning.

What were your priorities during the lockdown period at Azuri?

Our main priority was to assure that all the usual tasks carried out by a team of ten were accomplished with five persons. I am pleased that we were successful in this effort. We were also called upon to assist the security team in maintaining a safe environment at Azuri during the confinement.

What were your challenges?

Removal of algae from the beachfront is usually done by a contractor who wasn’t able to obtain work permits during the lockdown. It came upon our team to assure this task, which entailed waking before sunrise, and working until around 8 am when the sun started to beat down. This was particularly prevalent during the earlier period of the lockdown when the weather was still warm with regular rainfall. 

I found myself missing my family, and feeling concern for their wellbeing, and am happy to say everyone is well. The fact that I was leading my team at this time helped me to overcome these worries.

What gave you the most pride and satisfaction?

People could circulate in a clean environment as they were accustomed. With a minimum number of personnel we succeeded in responding to what needed to be done. I congratulate my entire team for their dedication and professionalism. I was also pleased to take part in cooking meals and keeping our apartment clean and in order.

What are you most grateful for?

I am grateful for the appreciation exhibited by the homeowners of Azuri, who kindly provided us with meals and packages of food and provisions, including pizza, mine frits, and macaroni.

I am grateful for the hotel staff, who invited us to eat at the hotel a few times.

I am grateful for the confidence that Azuri placed in us, and for their support in our tasks, as well as for giving us the necessary protection equipment to do our work safely (masks and gloves).

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