At 80, Margaret's closed the file on her court work

NICCI MCDOUGALL
Last updated 05:00 01/03/2014
Invercargill District Court registry support officer Margaret Rowe l
SIGNING OFF: Invercargill District Court registry support officer Margaret Rowe looks through criminal files.

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It has been a big week for Invercargill woman Margaret Rowe.

Not only did Mrs Rowe celebrate her 80th birthday on Thursday, yesterday she retired from her position at the Invercargill District Court after 21 years.

For two decades, for four hours every morning, Mrs Rowe has sorted ingoing and outgoing mail, date-stamped and delivered. She has also filed thousands of criminal court files in numerical order and kept them tidy.

A mother of five, she started working at the court as a tea lady in 1992 after being asked by a friend to fill in for two weeks. She then permanently filled the position.

Two or three years later she became the Invercargill District Court registry support officer, a role which includes mailing and filing. "It was something that needed done so I said I could do it."

Mrs Rowe said she had seen several changes over the years, but the biggest was when the court underwent a large renovation, completed in 2011.

The basement filing in the court building was temporarily moved to the neighbouring court offices, and an airbridge linking the two buildings was installed as well as a lift, making her job less challenging, she said.

She had enjoyed the job and especially the staff and "just being here, doing something useful and being out".

As well as her work role, she and her husband, Brian, have fostered about 20 children throughout the years, from babies to teenagers, she said.

She was looking forward to retirement and planned to put her feet up and spend plenty of time knitting - her favourite hobby.

Southland and Central Otago service delivery manager Robert Loo said Mrs Rowe would be greatly missed and was "really appreciated". nicci.mcdougall@stl.co.nz

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