Retirement's a dirty word for Yvonne

FIFTY-FOUR years ago as a fresh-faced teen, Yvonne Benning took her first job at RJ O’Halloran Solicitors in Fitzroy St – and she’s still there.

In an era where people change jobs as often as they do cars, Mrs Benning is a shining exception.

The 71-year-old grandmother-of- six wouldn’t have it any other way, still working as a full-time bookkeeper and receptionist at the historic law firm.

Retirement, she says, is just a word, and a word she doesn’t have much time for.

“My hubby would have me retire today but this is a good place to work and it keeps my mind going,” Mrs Benning said.

“I’ll stick around as long as they’ll let me.”

And while the building around her has changed little in half a century, the way she works has.

“I’ve gone from handwriting everything to computers and I’ve had to learn it all,” she said.

RJ O’Halloran partner Patrick O’Halloran, who was just two when Mrs Benning started at the firm, said he still vividly recalls incurring her wrath.

“As toddlers, we used to try and steal the petty cash, but Yvonne’s iron fist would come down,” he said.

“She been a great asset to us over the years.

“She’s meticulous, honest, reliable and loyal.

“The state and federal governments could do well to have her manage the treasuries – her bookkeeping is that good.

“Nothing goes unanswered ... she gives new meaning to the word frugality.”

Just last Saturday, Mrs Benning and husband Maurice – a retired builder and musician – celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

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