Mu­seum worker re­tires af­ter 35 years

Auckland City Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - CATRIN OWEN

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.’’

SUPPLIED

Cindy Po­cock-Smith was the long­est serv­ing staff mem­ber at the Auck­land War Me­mo­rial Mu­seum, but is look­ing for­ward to her retirement.

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