Moving on

Stephen Roberts
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Forteau store clerk Netia Hancock retires after forty years

Netia Hancock at the counter on her final day working at Lobel Management Ltd. in Forteau. Netia has worked at Lobel Management Ltd. for the past 40 years.

Northern Pen

A familiar face at Clarus Flynn’s store in Forteau is moving on.

Netia Hancock worked her final shift at Lobel Management Ltd. in Forteau, on Dec 29, retiring from the position after forty years at the local store.

In that time span, Netia has become a recognizable face at Clarus Flynn’s store – a staple at a store, which, in turn, has been a staple of the community.

Netia initially started working as a store clerk at M. Organ Ltd., owned by Flynn’s father – Wilfred Flynn – on Feb 1, 1968 at the age of 21. In June 1972, a new store was opened, Lobel Management Ltd., where Netia has worked ever since.

Netia recalled that initially the store sold various products including clothing and hardware supplies. Today, she said, most of that has been phased out with larger commercial stores moving into that territory.

They would also wrap parcels in brown paper and shopping wire, she remembered.

“We used to have the twine up to the loft on a reel and we used to haul it down to wrap the parcels with,” she explained.

The primary product the store is known for now is its various meats, which are cut and processed in a back room at the store.

Years back, she said, you were also always assured to see a few older gentlemen sitting over by the window at the front of the store, overlooking the Forteau wharf and having a good old yarn.

She said many of those old-timers have now passed on and those that are still around are rarely seen any more. But Netia still recalls the types of conversations many of the gentlemen used to have.

It was a pleasure to work with her all these years and she was an upbeat person. She was fun to be around – a very energetic person. Dale Hancock

“They’d talk about the fishery, what they’d do in the woods – trapping, killing deer – and their snow machines – who can go the fastest and who can haul this and haul that,” she says.

“There’s not so many seniors now to come out.”

At the other end of the spectrum, Netia has gotten to coach many students who have worked there during the summers. She would teach them how to wrap and cut meat, amongst other things, passing on her plethora of knowledge and skills.

Netia extended a thank you to the Flynn family, whom she has worked with for the past forty years, and to her co-worker Dale Hancock, whom she has worked with for approximately the past twenty years.

“I enjoy working with Clarus and his family. I had some wonderful times. I’ve enjoyed working with Dale as well.”

Clarus Flynn, too, extended a thank you to Netia for her devoted work.

“She was a good worker and was very reliable,” he says.

“It was a pleasure to work with her all these years and she was an upbeat person,” added Dale Hancock. “She was fun to be around – a very energetic person.”

Organizations: Netia, Lobel Management, M. Organ

Geographic location: Forteau, Northern PenA

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