After seeing Mount Hospital change from hotel to hospital, Philippe Binder has decided to hang up his bowtie after three decades.
The 68-year-old, well known for wearing a bow tie and a rose on his lapel, along with his French accent, has been a presence on the wards of Mount Hospital (Mount) since it first opened in 1986.
Originally the hospital was a hotel called Riverside Lodge, where Mr Binder was a maitre’d, but when the hotel changed to a hospital he and his bowtie were asked to stay on, to help patients with their meal selection.
“Working at the hospital was very different, of course, but I enjoyed talking to the patients.
“As a maitre’d I always wore a bow tie, so when I started at Mount I continued to do so, along with adding a rose.
“People really loved it and it got to the point where if I didn’t wear them, they would ask where they were,” said Mr Binder.
He said he embraced the opportunity to take the unusual step from hotel to hospital and had not looked back, covering a number of roles over three decades, including catering supervisor before becoming the menu monitor.
In honour of his service, Mount Hospital’s 700- strong team of doctors, nurses and administration staff each donned a bow tie and lapel rose for a day.
Mount Hospital Acting General Manager and Director of Nursing, Claire Byers, said the team wanted to give Philippe the special send-off he deserved.
“Philippe has been a much loved presence in the hospital for over three decades and he will be missed by staff and patients.
“He has a unique ability to brighten people’s day and has certainly brought a touch of France to the Mount.
“He has also been responsible for introducing significant positive changes, including establishing the role of menu monitor.
“At the time, Mount was one of the first private hospitals in Western Australia to have a dedicated team member visit patients daily to discuss their dietary requirements, so he was integral in leading the way in that regard,” said Ms Byers.
Mr Binder is an avid gardener and grows his own roses, so in his retirement he plans to spend more time tending to his beloved garden.
“I intend on spending time gardening, with my grandchildren, playing golf and bike riding, along with visiting my home country of France,” he said.