What Bird is That?
Celebrating the Gould Bird Lovers bird call competitions in which local school children competed and won on several occasions. A stall at the Pambula Show in January this year allowed locals to try their skills at matching recorded bird calls to photos.
Isabella Bridget McPherson-Mrs Mac’s Emporium
Born in Wade, New Zealand on the 15th September, 1888 Bridget Casey left school at 14 and completed a millinery apprenticeship in Auckland. At 19 she moved to Sydney and worked for a leading Milliner with Royal and vice-regal clients. After a short stay back in New Zealand until “the cold and rain drove me back to Australia”, she returned to Sydney and worked as a buyer for David Jones and Grace Brothers. Her next venture was a baby wear shop for 14 years. In 1926 Bridget married John Malcolm McPherson. They farmed at Griegs Flat until severe drought forced Bridget to buy another shop in Pambula in 1941. Her husband died four years later and for a time she ran two farms plus her shop. The business became famous for the variety of goods and attention to service paid to customers by Mrs Mac. She believed in fitting styles to every customer. “That’s the art of salesmanship,” she said “sell them something that makes them look better than they are”. The shop was crammed with every imaginable garment and accessory with an adjoining haberdashery area.. Bridget had a sharp business mind and wide ranging conversation, with firm ideas on staff and retail standards. Staff must be biddable and local and once an item was priced it never changed. Her philosophy was “I treat people as I like to be treated”. Scripture punctuated her speech but she had little time for organised religion. In five decades Mrs Mac rarely missed a day of work, spending her 100th birthday working in her shop. She remained working until she was 102 saying it was people who kept her working. “I like people. I like serving them”. Mrs Mac was the oldest working taxpayer in Australia when she retired to Imlay House, bequeathing the shop building to the nursing home on her death. Bridget McPherson died on the 28th July, 1992 in Pambula. The shop, like its owner, was a local treasure.
Mrs Mac’s Emporium has been reconstructed at the Old School Museum. You can visit from Sunday 22 May and learn about Bridget McPherson’s story. The museum will be open from 1.30 – 4pm.
The year 5/6 pupils at Merimbula Public School were set a project of preparing a Museum Box containing items that were significant to them. There are a number of them on display in the School Room of the Old School Museum and they will remain there until school holidays are over, on April 26th. The children who prepared them are very proud of their work and are to be complimented on the thought and effort that went into preparing such an impressive and interesting display.
Other Displays “A camera on Gallipoli” Digital display click here for more information.