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

'They were all ready to go, and then...bang'

PART TWO: As she sat in her kitchen next to a window and peered at the hills of Mount Morgan, Bette Broom envisaged her desired future for the town.

Bette, 91, reflected on the town she called home and the changes which occurred throughout her lifetime.

While one of the obvious changes was the advancement of technologies, Bette has noticed the historic town decline since its glorious mining days which includes the "lack of businesses”.

She touched on the fallout of the Mount Morgan Mine's planned comeback.

Mount Morgan mine site.
Mount Morgan mine site. Allan Reinikka ROK230519amountmo

"I was extremely disappointed about Carbine Resources, we badly need the mine to get going again,” she said.

"They were all ready to go, and then...bang.

"That has affected the town tremendously.”

Nonetheless, Bette pondered there were a lot of people who still volunteered within the town which helped events survive, such as the annual show, festivals and rodeos.

"There's still a spirit of Mount Morgan, probably not as strong as when it was my time but it's still there because you wouldn't have those things,” she said.

Some weeks back, Bette had written a piece in the Mount Morgan Argus to campaign for the return of Random Acts of Kindness. "A few years back, it was very popular to do Random Acts of Kindness and I've tried to bring that back in... I'd like to see that happen more,” she said.

Bette reflected on two positive experiences around the town, minor things which meant a lot to her.

Irene Sturgess and Bette Broom admire a photograph of the Mount Morgan State School which was taken on September 15, 1908, the year in which building of the iconic first High School to be established in the State of Queensland was completed.
Irene Sturgess and Bette Broom admire a photograph of the Mount Morgan State School which was taken on September 15, 1908, the year in which building of the iconic first High School to be established in the State of Queensland was completed. Cherith Weis

"I was coming out of IGA with two heavy bags, somebody came up and carted them to my car for me,” she said.

"The other day, I was at the post office (on an angle up the hill), an older man came and opened my car door for me.

Bette passed on favours to other residents to keep the community spirit alive.

"If I went to buy a coffee, I'd pay for two so the next person that comes along gets a free coffee,' she said.

Bette knew of people who'd leave $5 with a shop assistant at Mount Morgan IGA to allow that to go onto somebody that bought a big order.

"You could do a thousand acts of kindness and it doesn't cost you a cent and they're the ones you appreciate,” she said.

Another initiative Bette wants to return is Think Clean, Be Tidy, which she's campaigned in the Mount Morgan Argus for 10 years.

With a slogan she came across at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, it aims to make the streets of the Mount Morgan well-maintained.

"I went on a conducted tour and over their wash basins was that slogan and that's when I brought it home,” she said.

"I went to a funeral and I saw a woman pick up a plastic fork laying on the footpath, walked all the way and put it in the bin outside the church,” she said.

Bette was born in 1928, and became the longest-serving female employee at Mount Morgan Limited.



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