Annie’s Story

From Ann Meelker, Director of Sales and Marketing, Lord Elgin Hotel

Well, I am one of the true veterans here.  I started at this hotel over 40 years ago, while I was a student at University of Ottawa.  I was hired by Don Blakslee, a dear friend and fellow Kiwanian of my brothers.  My summer job was in the reservations department, taking bookings on little white cards, keeping track of inventory and filling all these little cards according to date.  Amazing, but the simple process worked and I loved my summer job here.  I would take my lunch in Confederation Park, sitting at the fountain, taking in the rays.

Fast forward, after graduating, marriage, 4 children (boys all born close together) and guess where I end up?  Don Blakslee many years later calls me and says ‘Annie, I need someone in our sales office…. Would you consider going back to work?’… My baby was 4 and I was ready…

After a brief hiatus, I returned to the Elgin 11 years ago and I am home.  Don Blakslee retired (after an unbelievable run of 50 years) and David Smythe runs the show now (a wonderful boss).  Blakslee (as we call him) is still around and provides his sage advice and wisdom and shares the fabulous stories we love to hear.  As we approach our 75th year, these and more memories will be captured in a small publication.

I am the luckiest person!!  I love this place and the warmth and history of it.  I love that the Lord Elgin from Scotland stays with us from time to time.  I love that everyone has a story of when they stayed here.  I love that the Mayor and other well known personalitiess come in to pick up a paper, have lunch, or get their morning java.  I feel like I am in the heart of this beautiful city and part of its story.  I love my fellow employees and especially my team, who are the very best anyone could ask for – loyal and so hard working.

So as we launch this new website and this blog, you will see input from my team and a variety of voices around the hotel, as it should be.  They all have their nuggets to share – their favorite spots to go, eat, shop, or just be and their stories are a delight to hear.