Museum worker retires after 35 years
Auckland War Memorial Museum’s longest serving staff member is finally able to put her feet up after 35 years on the job.
Cindy Pocock-Smith has been on the museum payroll since 1982, but felt it was the right time to leave.
The 65-year-old, who lives in Mt Albert, started out at the museum as a weekend toilet cleaner.
Since then she has given everything a go from working as a tea lady to head of security and lastly her role as a senior visitor host.
‘‘I haven’t been the director yet but I have sat in his seat,’’ she said.
But it was her role as head of security that was her favourite, even though she had to wear a man’s uniform.
‘‘It was the bane of my life.
‘‘I had to fight like mad to get that because the guards were very protective.’’
She was the only woman on the security team at the time and would patrol the museum at night.
Pocock-Smith has seen a few famous faces walk through the doors as well, having met Princess Diana and Prince Charles, the Queen of Denmark and the Pope.
But it was a chance encounter on the first floor of the museum that has stuck with her.
‘‘I was walking through the first floor and Diana Ross and her husband and daughter were walking towards me, and I was thinking ‘gosh she looks familiar’,’’ she said.
Despite her long service at the museum, Pocock-Smith said the hardest part of the job was at times dealing with the public.
‘‘Sometimes you just can’t pacify them,’’ she said.
The war section of the museum still remains her favourite space
‘‘I’ll miss the people and I’ll have a few little cries, but I’ve got the best leaving present anyone could ever have with honorary life membership,’’ Pocock-Smith said.
‘‘I would have had such a boring life if I didn’t work here, even toilet cleaning was fun.’’
Cindy Pocock-Smith was the longest serving staff member at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, but is looking forward to her retirement.