MILESTONE: Ken and Diny McFarlane have said goodbye to Lawrence General Store after 35 years as they set off on a new adventure.
MILESTONE: Ken and Diny McFarlane have said goodbye to Lawrence General Store after 35 years as they set off on a new adventure.

New adventures in store for Ken and Diny

AS Ken and Diny McFarlane closed the doors to the Lawrence General Store for the last time, they felt a mix of excitement and nostalgia.

"It's the people we're going to miss," Mrs McFarlane said.

"We've had some wonderful customers over the years, like Veronica across the road; she was one of the first people who came into the shop and has been coming in every day since we opened.

"Our staff have also become our family. Some have worked here for more than 30 years."

On Saturday, the sale of the General Store was finalised, allowing Mr and Mrs McFarlane to officially retire after 35 years behind the counter.

"The average time for owning a shop is three-to-five years so I guess we've just put the three and the five together to make 35!" Mrs McFarlane laughed.

"In that time, we've had the pleasure of meeting a lot of wonderful people."

Mrs McFarlane revealed there were plenty of funny moments over the years, including an incident where the Lawrence lingo was lost in translation.

"A young lady came to work here, and on her first day a couple of gentlemen came in and started talking to one another. Well, she got so frightened and thought they were going to have a punch-up!" she laughed.

"She couldn't believe it when we explained that was how those men would speak to one another."

Local colloquialisms aside, Mr McFarlane said he will always cherish seeing the camaraderie and support among the Lawrence community, especially during flood times.

 

Sitting on the front steps of the Lawrence General Store, Diny McFarlane looks out over the floodwater level (2012). Pic: Dan Himbrechts
Sitting on the front steps of the Lawrence General Store, Diny McFarlane looks out over the floodwater level (2012). Pic: Dan Himbrechts

 

"Whenever the floods came all of the locals would come down and give us a hand," he said.

"We'd have half a dozen young fellas arrive and help lift everything up off the ground. It'd only take them about 10 minutes.

"It was just incredible watching them lift one of the big fridges, stick something underneath, then it was right to go."

Now retired, Mr and Mrs McFarlane don't intend on sitting idly by at home.

"We're keen to go out and explore Australia while we still can," Mr McFarlane said.

"We're going to miss it, but this will always be home base. We'll be back."

 

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