Hazel Marchant has been a part of the Mudgee Hospital community for more than four decades and on Thursday June 30 she said farewell to a career full of memories.
Hazel began work at the now old Mudgee Hospital in 1980 in the catering department, working in the kitchen. In her time she has 'worked in every department in the hospital' before moving into her current role as Health and Security Officer.
Once Hazel retires after, taking some leave, she will have closed the book on career just shy of 45 years.
Colleagues talked about Hazel and the impact she's had on generations of staff and patients.
"[She is] unbelievable, she's a lovely person. Very kind, dedicated, very caring to all the people. Knows her job really well - especially being here for so long over so many years. Very well respected, very professional in her role and very well-liked," Tania Sharp, Support Service Manager who has worked with Hazel as a colleague for 15 years said.
Richard Waters, Maintenance Clerk and former Wardsman has worked with Hazel for 38 years. With Hazel's departure, Richard is next longest-serving member at the hospital.
"Hazel is going to be hard shoes to follow," Richard said.
"She's always been pleasant to work with and never had a bad word to say about anyone or anything. She makes the best of any bad situation.
"I will be sorry to see her go."
Hazel herself was pleasantly surprised, not expecting so many people to come along to say farewell at a lunch in the courtyard of Mudgee Hospital. "I didn't expect this," she said.
Hazel said she made the decision to retire to spend more time with her grandson. 'A life after the Mudgee Hospital.'
"I feel like - everyone comes to a time, and this is my time. He [Thomas] is the reason - and I feel like I'm ready to do it now," she said.
"I've had a lot of changes, a lot of my memories were in that old hospital. This new hospital we needed, but it doesn't hold in my heart the way [the old one did].
"I've done my work here and I've enjoyed every single minute. All the people I've worked with, all the people I've trained, it's been wonderful. Truly.
"Even from my first day I've appreciated my job. It helped me raise my family, it provided me with good friends and colleagues that I could never forget.
"My old memories were there [at the old hospital], but my new ones are here. But for Thomas..., he's my new memory, he's the reason today is the day because I want to spend some time enjoying this."
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