Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
Longest serving Manica employee, Wolff, finally retires
The iconic Paul Wolff, an institution in the Manica stable is taking his leave of duties at the age of 78 after serving his employer for nearly six decades.
The inimitable Wolff started his career in 1964 as an apprentice shipping agent when what is today the Manica Group was known as Cory Mann George. Reflecting on the early days he reminisced about an era where challenges were met with a resolute spirit of “getting on with it.”
In those bustling years at the port, he said late-night and weekend shifts were the norm, creating an atmosphere where work seamlessly blended with camaraderie, often sharing moments over a drink with clients during working hours.
During his lifetime career, he witnessed the company’s expansion and transformation, first to Woker Freight Services and later to Manica. Having worked under seven managing directors, he fondly recalled the immense intellect of Harald Denneville, in his mind the most accomplished of all the MDs.
The evolution of technology is also vivid in Wolff’s memories, as he recalls the days of telex machines, typewriters, and walkie talkies, a stark contrast to the ubiquitous cellphones and computers of today.
His role in securing oil and gas logistics business for the group with the visit of Haliburton and setting up a shore base at Lüderitz for Norsk-Shell exploration, showcases his role as a trailblazer in the oil and gas industry. His fingerprints are also evident in the first bulk exports of salt, fishmeal and copper cathodes that were trucked from Zambia to Grootfontein and from there transported on rail to the Walvis Bay port.
He was instrumental in securing the Macs Shipping Agency and also witnessed the founding of the Namsov Fishing Company from a small fish logistics desk in Woker Freight Services to the biggest midwater concern in Namibia. Wolff’s vast knowledge of logistics and oil and gas has made him an invaluable resource to the group, contributing to its success across a spectrum of projects.
In the group, Wolff has always been known to be professional, customer focused and has served as a fountain of logistics know-how for many staff members who needed logistics advice. However, he also has a witty sense of humor and will be remembered for the many pranks he played on his colleagues.
When asked what he would miss the most about Manica, Wolff said amidst all the exciting projects and cargo in his career he would miss the “family” feeling that permeates the group.
As Wolff takes his leave for a well-earned rest, Manica said it pays tribute to a career that encapsulates resilience, adaptability, and an unwavering commitment to the values that define the spirit of Manica.