“I thoroughly enjoyed working with Primac and felt it was like a family. The staff and friendships I made were amazing and I got to work and know some very talented people. What a great company to work for.
I am thrilled to join Primac Gurus as the first member and first Treasurer. I am looking forward to meeting new and catching up with ex Primac staff.”
I was born on the road on the way from Copai Station to Quilpie in February 1959. Nice hot day and can remember Dad always saying jokingly “you were trouble from the day you were born”. I am the eldest of a family of six. My parents, both deceased are John and Monica Smith. I spent most of my childhood in Quilpie after moving from Copai Station in 1966 and doing School Of The Air with Mum as a teacher until Grade two was quite a challenge. Obviously both for Mum and myself.
I then went to the State School in Quilpie to finish my Primary schooling and lived the life, driving my parents mad, riding horses, basketball, football, fishing, and driving Mum and Dad’s car when they weren’t home and didn’t know, even smoking when they weren’t home. I was also not old enough to have a license at the time. My poor parents if only I knew now what I should have known then. They did however find out eventually and wow did I know what was right and wrong after that.
I moved to Aspley to complete my secondary education at Aspley High and boarded with my Uncle Rex Backhaus – Smith and his wife Heather. Both were teachers so I never got away with too much either.
Moved back to Quilpie after that and did a few different jobs in retail, babysitting, bar work, driving the mail run for my dad at times, collecting the odd truckload of wool from a few on Dad’s mail run and I particularly loved doing that. I loved Quilpie!
Got married, and moved to Charleville after having my first son Micheal and my second son Terence at Charleville. I nursed at the Charleville Base Hospital for some time after that.
Primac Surat 1986 to 1994
I moved to Surat in 1984 after some personal problems. I worked at the local New Royal Hotel with Venn and Robyn Minnage and also some volunteer work at the local golf club which very conveniently was across the road from my house in King Street. I was also Secretary of the Surat Diggers Race Club along with Sue Smith and Ray White was the President at the time.
Many good times were at the Surat races. I can remember one in particular as we were looking after the bar at the races when Venn Minnage brought out the spirits and nip pourers. Unfortunately, he grabbed the wrong nip pourers by mistake instead of a half nip pourer he bought out full nip pourers. Well that day was very interesting indeed, and after three hours of drinking spirits, there were so many fights and arguments, and if they weren’t fighting they couldn’t keep their eyes open, also a car rolled on the way back to town luckily no one was hurt. Profits were down that year! Venn Minnage wondered why the Rum and other spirits ran out early! I had lots of fun times at the New Royal Hotel. Never a dull moment. Venn was truly a remarkable man.
I also joined the Army Reserve with 25 RQR whilst in Surat as a Driver/Admin and I remember driving to Roma every Tuesday night. The weekends away I really enjoyed as I was the only girl in the platoon and was quite spoilt when going on our weekends away as everything was done for me. It was quite a shock and experience when I did my Recruit course and I had to learn quickly or let them get the better of me and that wasn’t going to happen. I will just say it had to do with a live grenade and a few days in the hospital. I did however finish the course and get to my Passing Out Parade.
l started my first job with Primac in Surat in 1986 and Bill Young was the Manager at the time along with his wife Donna who worked part-time for a couple of years. I worked in Merchandise, Accounts, unloading merchandise trucks, delivering merchandise, and whatever was required. Allan Greer joined the office as Merchandise/Stock from 1988 to 1990. Simon McPaul came for a short while around 1990 and from memory only for a few months.
Harvey Coe was Manager from 1990 to 1991 not real sure of the dates.
My role changed to just about everything after Harvey left. I was on the road a lot visiting clients, delivering merchandise, taking clients to sales, and stock sales. I had help from Norm Taylor from Mitchell and he was happy staying in the office and local very capable lady Tanya Thompson in reception casually when needed. Ken Johnson, Warren Zernike, John Montague and our Regional Manager Norm Jenner were regulars. I can remember a couple of times when Norm came to Surat and after work, he played the piano accordion I think, and it sounded pretty good. I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to learn as much as I did in Surat.
Richard Street came as Manager in 1992 and was still the Manager when I left in 1994. I got married for the second time while I was in Surat.
I started work at Dalgety Surat with the manager Alex Patterson in 1994 until I transferred to the Dalgety Roma office in 1997 working in the Merchandise department with Greg Hewitt and Manager David Connolly until around 1999.
After leaving Dalgety I took up a Payroll Officer position for a couple of years before moving to Bundaberg briefly working for GE Finance and then on to Brisbane to work with QAS in Accounts until I had our daughter Charlotte in 2003.
2003 to Current
I eventually went to work for St Joseph’s Catholic School in Brisbane after completing a Certificate 111 in Education Support in 2011 and am still there today.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Primac and all the wonderful staff and clients I met and worked with. I had the best time and there was always a reason to party in Surat however small the reason be. Still enjoy going back to Roma and Surat and my hometown Quilpie for a visit. Can’t beat the bush!
Please note I am not responsible if the dates are incorrect.