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Door opened to society

BEHIND the concierge desks of three Perth hotels are members

of one of the world’s proudest societies.

Recently, Sheraton Perth Hotel chief concierge Paul Tucek was made a member of Les Clefs d’Or (aka the Golden Keys).

At just twenty-eight he is one of the youngest in Australia to be accepted into the society which has the motto of ‘service through friendship’.

The society was formed in France in 1929 by a French concierge who came up with the idea of concierges sharing ideas and experiences.

Les Clefs d’Or now has around 4,000 members based in thirty-five countries with Australians making up about one per cent of the membership.

Besides Mr Tucek, the other WA Golden Keys’ holders are Burs-wood chief concierge Shaun McKewon and Parmelia Hilton chief concierge John Di Rosso.

Becoming a member involves more than just sending off a form and paying some dues.

To even be considered, a candidate must be nominated by two holders of the Golden Keys and the general manager of the hotel.

The candidate must also have been the chief concierge of a four-star or five-star hotel for three years or the assistant to a chief concierge for five years.

Mr Tucek said candidates had to send in a detailed submission, including references and then face an interview.

He said some candidates could take three or four years to be accepted.

Les Clefs d’Or international ambassador and Sheraton on the Park chief concierge Tony Facciolo said the society went for quality rather than quantity in membership.

Mr Facciolo, who is reputedly on Kerry Packer’s Christmas card list, said holders of the Golden Keys could also expect respect.

Mr McKewon said he achieved one of his aims last year when he organised the Concierge’s Ball.

“People think we just do bags and cars but we can actually do more for a guest than a travel agent does,” he said.

“We’re the front line of the hotel and have to make sure the guests enjoy their stay.

“We had a medical conference here and one of the speakers, who wasn’t a guest at the hotel, came to me saying he had a speech in half an hour and needed a medical journal for references.

“I had the book here five minutes before he went on.

Mr Tucek said he had helped one Perth woman organise flights to get her to Germany.

“The travel agents here couldn’t help. Through my Golden Keys contacts I was able to help her,” he said.

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