Plenty of reminiscing as 80 past and present Big W employees attend 40th reunion

Saturday’s reunion for past and present employees of Big W Green Hills store was just as big as the store’s official opening in 1977.

There was plenty of reminiscing, laughter, smiles, hugs and handshakes as workers gathered at The Bradford Hotel, Rutherford for the milestone event.

There may have been a few more grey hairs and wrinkles but the staff celebrated in fine form catching up with each other, talking about the good old days and discussing how the once small neighbourhood shopping complex had evolved into a leading regional retail centre.

Wendy Baxter of Thornton who has been working at Big W for 21 years researched old print advertisements, jingles and slogans before the reunion.

“We opened on November 14, 1977 and we were one of only a handful of Big W stores trading at the time,” she said. “Back then we were known as store number 1452 and when I started in 1996 we were store number 152.”

“I went through the different ads and slogans over the years like Big W Keeps the Prices Down and the 1990 campaign of We Sell for Less. In 2008 it was the Live Big for Less campaign and in 2013 Everyone’s a Winner.”

Mrs Baxter said it’s timely celebrating 40 years at the same time Stockland’s major $412 million centre redevelopment is almost due for completion. “The store has employed thousands of people and it has been great to be part of the stories, the memories and the many friendships that have been made over that time.”

Big W employee, Rhonda Diplock, will celebrate her 40th year with the store on Tuesday.