LAST DAY: Rhonda Stokes had her last day in Mary St this week after 45 years working in the CBD. Craig Warhurst
LAST DAY: Rhonda Stokes had her last day in Mary St this week after 45 years working in the CBD. Craig Warhurst Craig Warhurst

Mary St stylist cuts free

MARY St hairdresser Rhonda Stokes hung the scissors up this week, bringing to an end 45 years of full-time work in the CBD.

An emotional Mrs Stokes said she had enjoyed every minute of her time at Roma Salon as she handed the reins over to her daughter Selina.

Mrs Stokes thanked her loyal customers, some who have stood by her for more than 40 years.

"It has never felt like work, it was more of a social club," Mrs Stokes said.

Roma Salon is the oldest in Gympie.

It first opened in 1970 in upper Mary St beside Cameron's Shoes before moving to its current location, just down from the old Crazy Clarks building, in 1974.

The business has been a survivor weathering nine floods, the biggest in 1999, when the water reached the ceiling.

It has survived a fire in a neighbouring store and many break ins.

Mrs Stokes said one of the biggest struggles for the business was when Mary St was changed from two-way to one-way.

"At the time it hurt the business," Mrs Stokes said.

Despite a number of businesses leaving Mary St now Mrs Stokes, remains positive about the future of the CBD.

"It's sad to see a lot of shops in Mary St closing down but we are busier than ever."

The hairdresser said there were plenty of good times and memorable moments in her 45 years.

"We had a lady have a diabetes episode one day in the salon," Mrs Stokes said.

"The ambulance came, as they were wheeling her out we were taking the perm rollers out of her hair.

"Another day we had a big tough bikie nearly faint on us while we were piercing his ear."

Another memorable occasion was doing the ball hair girls when a wall dryer burnt out and filled the salon with smoke.

Mrs Stokes moved all the girls into the Atherton Cane Wares shop next store to finish the hair.

Gympie Times


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