LOCAL ADVOCATE: Lifelong Mount Morgan resident, Bette Broom participated in this year's Rockhampton River Festival where she shared her incredible story. She became the first female office manager at Mount Morgan Limited.
LOCAL ADVOCATE: Lifelong Mount Morgan resident, Bette Broom participated in this year's Rockhampton River Festival where she shared her incredible story. She became the first female office manager at Mount Morgan Limited. Sean Fox

'I enjoyed every day of it...it's been a good life'

BETTE Broom became the first female office manager at Mount Morgan Limited.

She holds the record for being the longest-serving female employee between 1943 and 1990 when the once-richest mine in the world ceased all operation.

Through her hard work and determination, Bette, 91, served in an array of positions within the general office which ranged from timekeeping and accounts to being in charge of accounting machines.

Over the years, Bette worked under a long list of general managers: L. Westcott, M. John, G. Shiel, L. Hennessy, Ossie Wilson, A. Kuru, L Newcomb, D Derham and chief accountants F. Sandell and A. Farrell.

So there was no surprise Bette participated in this year's Rockhampton River Festival last month when she joined four other notable residents from across the region to share their stories with the community.

She was approached by council about three weeks before the event before she took part in filming a retrospective video which was published for this year's festival.

Last week, The Morning Bulletin spoke to the passionate advocate from her home in Central St where she has lived her entire life.

As a youngster, her parents operated a grocery business during the 1930s, and her father would deliver goods by horse and cart.

She fondly recalled her neighbour who solely sold butter and ice in a time when everything was sold in bulk.

She reflected on her colourful memories from Mount Morgan, across Australia and abroad which made her appreciate home even more.

"In a small town, you've got the opportunity to put something back into it, in a city you're a fly on the wall, but here you can develop your own personality and help others.”

After finishing her secondary studies, she obtained a position at Mount Morgan Limited like many others of that era before she went back to school for six months.

One of her fondest memories during her time at the mine was when then-retired mine manager, Adam Boyd would return from his Ritamada residence to the Mount Morgan Mine with a cart of oranges every time he'd visit.

Now one of the town's last residents of her generation, Bette, 91, has worked to keep the town's history alive.

After she retired, Bette spent from 1990 to about 2008 as a tour guide at the Mount Morgan Railway Station.

"I enjoyed every day of it...it's been a good life,” she said.

Bette Broom, 91, has spent many years keeping the history of the town and its iconic mine alive every chance she can get.

Outside of Mount Morgan, Bette has seen a fair chunk of the world.

"My parents were very good at educating me in saving some money, because I jotted down where I've travelled and its amazing,” she said.

She's spent a combined 17 weeks in Great Britain and Europe and covered nearly every corner of Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong - just to name a few.



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