Inspired to help others and give back to the community, Tatura local Pat Cornwall is amazed by the continued success of Generations Op Shop.
The idea came to mind for Mrs Cornwall after listening to Generations Church Pastor Ron Mallon speak about the importance of the church’s role in the community.
Running a ladies group for the church at the time, Mrs Cornwall wondered how they could be more involved in the cause when the idea of establishing an opportunity shop arose.
With a tick of approval from the church, Mrs Cornwall began looking for the perfect space in Tatura in January 2002.
An old pizza shop along Hogan St was decided upon and the shop came to life in September 2002.
The store was gutted by Mrs Cornwall’s nephew and was fitted out with the help of her niece Gail Geerling’s retail experience.
‘‘The community support was amazing, people just gave us things,’’ Mrs Geerling said.
Mrs Cornwall was overwhelmed by how much help was provided to get the store up and running, including support from the local Vinnies store.
‘‘They helped me with pricing and still donate items as well,’’ she said.
Originally known as ‘‘Treasure Trove’’, the name is not the only thing to transform during the past 16 years.
‘‘We began with one little store and we grew into homewares and furniture, so we had to rent the space next door and put in a door,’’ Mrs Cornwall said.
‘‘Then we outgrew that, so we also had to move into the house behind.
‘‘We tripled in size and finally got to the stage where we needed a manager.’’
Neville Crow joined the team 14 years ago and continues to be an active manager supporting the community.
The Generations Op Shop is supported by about 60 volunteers, working in a range of roles, from sorting items to driving the pick-up truck.
In August 2016, the op shop moved further along Hogan St to its current location at number 119.
‘‘It used to be a car part shop and works really well because we can put things in the windows,’’ Mrs Cornwall said.
She continues to be amazed by the generosity of the Tatura community.
‘‘People are so good and I feel they appreciate the work we do because it all goes back into the town,’’ she said.
Money raised has been given to local community organisations and businesses, such as the Tatura SES, Tatura CFA, Moyola Lodge, Tatura Hospital and school students.
The op shop also often donates items to those in need in the community.
The local Food Bank is also run from the business and supports the new Boomerang Bag initiative.
At 91 years of age Mrs Cornwall still volunteers weekly on Monday and Friday afternoons and Saturdays on a monthly basis.
‘‘I’m not sure when I can retire, but I really like still going down and just volunteering.’’