Kings of the grocery trade
THREE Coffs Harbour sisters have clocked up an amazing 103 years of work ... in the same business.
Lyn Steer, Sue King and Lois Murray, nee King, all began working for Coffs Harbour-based grocery firm Cox Bros, which was later sold to Woolworths.
Woolworths recently hosted a morning tea at Centro Toormina to recognise their years of service.
Lyn and Sue work at Woolworths Centro Toormina supermarket and Lois works at Woolworths supermarket at Park Beach Plaza.
Lyn can look back on 45 years, Susan 40 and Lois a ‘mere' 18 years. They all still enjoy going to work.
Lyn was asked to work in Cox Bros by supermarket owner Dick Cox. The Kings lived next door and Lyn was the Cox's babysitter.
Lyn was a month away from her 16th birthday when she began working. She said she continues because she likes it.
“My husband says it is up to me when I retire,” Lyn said.
Her sisters followed her into the business.
Sue also started work when she was 15, at the ‘town shop', the Park Avenue supermarket, also owned by Cox Bros. She moved to Toormina when the food barn opened and is an original staff member at the Toormina shopping centre.
Like her sisters, Lois went to work for Cox Bros when she left school. She later became self-employed, but returned 14 years ago.
Today, the sisters are meeting second and third generations of customers.
They recall the days when checkout operators had to crank a handle to operate the register and remember when a carry out service operated. Staff packed bags and boxes for their customers and boys carried the groceries out to put into unlocked cars, identified by the owners' registration numbers pencilled on the grocery bags.
Although they work in the same business for the same company and two in the same supermarket, they rarely cross paths at work but have plenty of memories to share.