Reflecting on eight decades in the North-East
By Daisy Baker
13 June, 2018
RINGAROOMA’S Faye Bennett is well-known for her community involvement throughout the North-East, the region she has called home for more than 80 years.
She grew up on a farm in East Minstone Road, as the eldest of eight children, milking cows and polishing floors.
After leaving school at 15, Mrs Bennett got a job at Galloways where she worked for several years.
In later years, she worked on the hops, potato harvester, picking carrots, and also waitressed at the Ringarooma Hotel.
She did all of this between raising her five children.
Mrs Bennett says she used to take her eldest daughter into the paddock with her when she was picking up carrots.
Amidst all of this, she managed to find time to be part of the Ringarooma CWA, and was an avid knitter.
This year marks 50 years since Mrs Bennett went on an all-expenses paid trip to Brisbane for a national knitting competition after winning a knit-off with the local CWA.
“I could knit at one stitch per second,” she says.
At the Brisbane competition, the women were assessed on the speed of their knitting as they made clothes for a doll.
While she didn’t take out first place, she says it’s an experience she won’t forget.
“My mother knitted and crocheted a lot as well and she was always making things,” she says pointing to a crocheted blanket behind me her mother made.
“But it was my father who taught me to knit. He taught me on two six-inch nails when I was about six.”
In her youth, Mrs Bennett was also very active in sporting clubs in the North-East, playing netball, indoor cricket, tennis and football.
“I was captain of the netball team and we won two or three premierships,” she says.
“I was only telling someone the other day that I used to play wing for the West Scottsdale Football side and they didn’t believe me!” she laughs.
Mrs Bennett stopped working when she reached 80, although she is still a very busy woman, attending social gatherings and keeping up with her 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.