June’s Top of the Mops

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Meet the Wakatipu’s oldest cleaner. 

Eighty-year-old June Reidie has clocked up 20 years servicing rooms at the Ridge Resort in Goldfield Heights – and has no intention of hanging up her trusty mop just yet. 

Reidie says she was “bullied” into the job by another housekeeper when she and husband Ross retired to Arrowtown from Invercargill in 1989. 

“And I’ve just carried on,” she beams. 

Reidie carpools to work for about eight hours every Friday with two other veteran cleaners, Bernese Byron, 67, and Anne Harrison, 77 – who have more than 30 years on the job between them. 

While her six kids berate her for continuing cleaning, the social side of the work is the major drawcard for Reidie, whose hubby died seven years ago. 

“It’s a day out and I enjoy meeting the young ones we work with. It doesn’t do me any harm and it’s an extra few dollars in my pocket each week,” she says. “Running up and down the stairs keeps you mobile – it’s good for ya.” 

Ridge Resort manager Diana Bonham, 67, has toiled alongside Reidie for two decades and says she runs rings around other employees. 

“She has little things that she’s particular fussy about – she cleans skirting boards behind beds and things like that, that young ones definitely don’t think of,” Bonham says. 

“You keep allowing for her to one of these days say ‘hey this is just too much for me’, but she doesn’t.” 

In warmer weather and when she isn’t cleaning, sprightly Reidie strides the local walkways on a daily basis, often doing the 8km Lake Hayes loop or Tobins Track. 

“That husband of mine unfortunately bequeathed me a quite a lot of garden and that keeps me busy,” she adds.