Affable Simon Sutherland moved to town about 18 months ago tasked with restoring White River icon The Winkler back to it’s former glory. Not one to do things by halves, Simon brings a gust of fresh air both to The Winkler and many other White River community events.
English by birth and raised in London, he was educated in North Wales and can speak fluent Welsh. Which anyone in the know will tell you is a tongue-twisting arrangement of consonents and vowels, not necessarily in the same word! Witness Helo fy enw i yw Simon ac rwy’n falch Afon Wen – Hello, my name is Simon and I’m proudly White River.
Simon has carried the same determination to live life to the fullest to our town, and on his arrival here joined the Rotary Club. He is currently the club secretary and President elect.
Through Rotary Simon has got stuck into many community projects ranging from sponsoring the SAPS monthly officer awards, assisting the SPCA, fundraising for various schools, to feeding orphans. Through the hotel he assists the local Hospice, Ma Esther’s orphanage, the local MOTHS, Laapeng centre, Millenum, Hlokomela Centre and the Children in Distress with Manna Church.
Simon has also been involved with various football teams both with sponsorship, playing and organising. He spends much of his time training the underprivileged youth in various communities, which has enabled them to secure meaningful employment. Many of his mentorees have risen to management positions in the hospitality industry both locally and abroad.
His energy and enthusiasm is unending – Simon’s Premier Hotel The Winkler team excelled at the 2016 Potjie Challenge, presenting not only a delectible potjie but rolling out a gorgeous Christmas meal display stand. And lucky Casterbridge tenants look forward to regular visits from Simon and his team on special days, when they deliver tasty food samples celebrating various occasions – Easter, Father’s Day, International Chef’s Day and so on.
Simon and his life partner of 12 years, Edwidge, live with their rescue fur babies Kolwe and Chamzoo and simply love travel and food. Simon holds a diploma in Hotel Management and is a qualified chef. Due to his lengthy career in the food and hospitality industry across the UK, USA and South Africa, Simon has met and served some of the world’s leading statesmen and women as well as Royalty.
But it’s his immediate, generous response to community requests that has earned Simon Sutherland his White River Star – he didn’t hesitate when approached by the White River Photographic Club to host a club event. He’s always open to participation and assistance within the community and embodies the spirit of involvement we here at We Are White River are growing in town.
Congratulations, Simon. You ARE a White River Star.