After 41 years, Mim Pateman is hanging up her phone and retiring as secretary of St Josephs’ in Nyngan.
Hundreds gathered at St Joseph’s presentation assembly to bid farewell to what’s been described as the school’s “best secretary”.
Mrs Pateman thanked the school community, the staff past and present, parents, friends and “all the beautiful children” who she said was the reason she stayed at the place for 41 years.
Mrs Pateman was celebrated at the assembly with colleagues describing her somewhat “cheeky” side.
“Thanks for being the organiser of all the practical jokes,” Deputy Principal Brad Toole said.
“Somehow when it came to the crunch … Mrs Patemen was nowhere to be seen and was hiding in her office or out the front and letting someone else take the fall for her.”
“It has been an amazing time … she’s very nurturing in her ways, is always there for a chat when you need it and someone that can bring the best out of bad situations making you laugh,” he said.
Principal Sharon Grimmond thanked Mrs Pateman for her “impeccable” commitment to the school community.
“This is probably the hardest speech I’ll ever have to read or say in my career,” Mrs Grimmond said.
“I think its safe to say no one will miss you more than the principal of St Joseph’s school Nyngan.”
“Truly Mim we wish you a happy retirement, where you can spend your days doing crossword puzzles playing golf, watching Judge Judy and anything else that might be on television that’s not Australian.”
“Thank you for being the best listener, the best problem solver the best confidant and my best friend.”
Director of Catholic Education for the diocese of Wilcania-Forbes Anthony Gordon not only presented Mrs Pateman with the Bishop’s award for her faithful service to the diocese but presented her with a papal blessing from the Pope which recognising her contribution.
The assembly ended with the room standing for a round of applause. “I’ll see you around,” Mrs Pateman said.