Riverside High stalwart Gail Wade retires after 25 years in school canteen

WADE TO GO: Riverside High School canteen manager Gail Wade retired on Thursday after 25 years in the job. Picture: Hamish Geale

WADE TO GO: Riverside High School canteen manager Gail Wade retired on Thursday after 25 years in the job. Picture: Hamish Geale

When Gail Wade took over as manager of the Riverside High School canteen in December 1991, she inherited a red whistle.

Reserved for occasions when hungry students became ‘a bit unruly’, the whistle has since sat gathering dust in a draw beneath the canteen counter, gloriously unused.

“I’ve never found a real need to (use it),” Mrs Wade said.

“The kids know how to behave.” 

Thursday marked the final day of Mrs Wade’s 25-year career as canteen manager, during which she has served more than 4000 individual students.   

“I’m sad to leave, I’ve got a heavy heart, I’ve been here for 25 years and it’s been a big part of my life.

“I find now the students are more interactive and more friendly, I think it’s probably just how things have changed with families but they're all friendly and if I see them out they're always happy to say hello.”

With plenty of time now freed up during the week, Mrs Wade plans to spend more time with her grandchildren and do some travelling.

But she’s still hoping to volunteer in the canteen from time to time.  

“It’s a fabulous school and terrific kids and I’ll miss them.

“It’s been wonderful and I’ve loved every minute, that’s the honest truth.” 

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