Shirley farewells Broken Hill

Shirley Barnett says goodbye to Broken Hill after 46 years in town.PICTURE: ANDREW LODIONG

Shirley Barnett is preparing to leave Broken Hill after four-and-half decades of living and working in town.

The long-time resident bids farewell to the Silver City as she plans to move back to South Australia at the end of the month.

“I thank everyone for the time I’ve had here,” Mrs Barnett said. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Mrs Barnett — born and raised in Kadina SA — will embark on a lifestyle change and relocate to Moonta.

She returns to her home State after switching to Broken Hill in the mid-1970s.

She held many volunteer positions at local schools, the aquatic centre and the YMCA.

“I love volunteering and working with the community – I’m one that loves a chat,” Mrs Barnett said.

She also spent three decades volunteering for the Broken Hill Tennis Association and played an instrumental role in establishing the clubrooms.

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Mrs Barnett managed the canteen and was also part of a group that hosted weekly bingo nights to raise funds to pay off the loan used to build the venue.

“When I first came, we only had an office and a little veranda,” she said. “We got a loan and paid the hall off in three years.”

“I’m very proud of the canteen side of the tennis club. I offered to do it because they were losing money – it worked very well.”

The sports lover played the game for many years and competed in the weekend mixed competition and the Tuesday night matches.

She would love to see women’s and junior tennis rise back to its former glory but believes local organised sport is in a good place.

“Sport is very strong in Broken Hill,” she said. “It’s one of the things that help people when they come.

“That’s why a lot of people stay because they get to meet everyone.”

Before she takes off, Mrs Barnett urges all community members to dedicate some time to a local cause.

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“I encourage everyone to take up volunteering to give back to the community,” she said.

“There’s always something you can help with.”

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