Happily dealing with people every work hour and a wide variety of tasks have helped Millicent resident Anne Schumacher recently clock up 30 years with the one employer. It was back in early 1991 the married mother-of-two was engaged by the then Millicent District Council as a part-time cleaner at the Millicent War Memorial Civic and Arts Centre.
Ms Schumacher has continued with local government ever since and is perhaps best known as a long-serving library officer with Wattle Range Council at the Millicent Library and Resource Centre. Born into the MacLennan family in Inverness, Scotland, she emigrated with her family to Australia when she was three months of age.
Her working life had begun while a student at Millicent High School with Saturday morning work at Foster’s Foodland. “I worked there with my sister Maureen, Cathy Foster (nee Galpin) and Karen Wiltshire (nee Blacketer),” she said. “After leaving school, I worked in the office at the Hains Hunkin furniture shop and then McDonough’s chemist shop.
“I married Ray Schumacher in 1980 at the age of 21 and we have a son Tom and daughter Laura.” Although the work as a hall cleaner was physically demanding, Ms Schumacher took pride in her work and the hours were suitable. “Cleaning was each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning and it meant I could take the kids to school and be home for them at the end of the school day,” she said.
“It also meant that I could help at the school in the canteen as well as the school council and the parent club and so on. “I was also a volunteer member of the Civic and Arts Centre presenters group and management committee and we would arrange for visiting artists and shows to come to Millicent. “The cleaning work stopped in 2002 as the Civic and Arts Centre had to be rebuilt and this took around three years.
“Around this time, library officer Carmel Tomlinson took maternity leave and I covered her absence.” In addition to her part-time library work, Ms Schumacher has relieved in the tourist information centres at Millicent, Penola and Beachport. “It was good to meet people and promote the region,” she said.
With the role of libraries ever-changing, the veteran employee is busy running the monthly book club, weekly Baby Bounce sessions and fortnightly Milliscribblers writing group. “It is good to be recognised by young kids when I am shopping in Woolworths,” she said.
“They might think the library staff live at the library. “Libraries are going ahead with technology and we add the personal touch.” Her three-decade milestone has been commended by Millicent librarian Janice Nitschke. “She offers a high level of customer service and being an avid reader, her knowledge of books is second to none and the perfect person for organising our Book and Writers Clubs,” Ms Nitschke said.
“Congratulations Anne on a fantastic achievement and we look forward to many years with you yet!”