There wasn’t much you couldn’t buy from Mrs Mac’s.
The legendary shopkeeper from Pambula is renowned to have stocked nearly everything under the sun – from black arm bands to baby clothing, Bridget McPherson sold it.
Mrs Mac worked at her store until 102 and is reported to have been Australia’s oldest working taxpayer – she didn’t even take a day off for her 100th birthday in 1988!
Now, to honour her legacy, a collection of items from Mrs Mac’s is now residing in pride of place within Merimbula’s Old School Museum.
One room in the museum has been redesigned into a replica store displaying donated and loaned items, most of which was unsold stock from Mrs Mac’s.
The exhibition opened to a small gathering on Sunday, May 22, where many shared memories of Mrs Mac while looking over her wares.
“I have lovely memories of Mrs Mac,” Sandra Bray said.
“We used to buy everything from her. I remember when you used to have to wear hats to church, she would have the hats for sale.”
Gail Smith also recalled Mrs Mac donating a baby jumpsuit to every newborn in the district.
In opening the collection, Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society secretary Shirley Bazley said Mrs Mac’s shop was “a time capsule, but one that kept up with ‘modern’ trends”.
She said the museum’s collection will make history relevant as many in the community will recall Mrs Mac’s store first-hand, while younger people will find it fascinating to see how their parents shopped.
“She was a bit of an icon,” collection curator Elizabeth Bretherton said on Sunday.
“She ran the shop from 1941-1990 and had a very capable, sharp business mind.
“I don’t think she suffered fools!”
On a display of newspaper clippings and photos of Mrs Mac at the museum entrance on Sunday were several quotes to that effect.
“That’s the art of salesmanship – sell them something that makes them look better than they are,” reads one.
“Don’t retire! You’ll grow old if you do,” says another.
Given the replica emporium now in the Old School Museum, Mrs Mac’s legacy lives on.
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