Township mourns colourful character

Dulcie Richards on the scooter she would ride to clean her "goldmine" everyday.
Dulcie Richards on the scooter she would ride to clean her "goldmine" everyday.

The older Dulcie Richards got, the more precious she became to the Tongaporutu community, bach owner Mike Brown says.

Mrs Richards died on Thursday at Waitara's Kohatu Rest Home, aged 99, and will today be remembered for her colourful character.

She was known for her job as the cleaner of Tongaporutu's public toilet, which she referred to as "Dulcie's Goldmine".

Until the age of 95, Mrs Richards would ride her mobility scooter to the toilets every day and polish them with the care and attention every good loo deserves.

Mr Brown, the Tongaporutu Bach Leaseholders Association chairman, said her participation in the community had been greatly missed since she moved to Kohatu Rest Home in 2010.

"She was a real personality associated with Tongaporutu."

The mother of six, grandmother of 15 and great-grandmother of 20, spent 52 years in her Tongaporutu home, before it burnt to the ground in 2005.

After a short stint "caravanning" at Mokau, Mrs Richards moved back to a newly-built home on the banks of the Tongaporutu river in 2006.

After four years, she ventured to Waitara, and Kohatu Rest Home senior caregiver Nicky Marsh said she was a sprightly character who quickly added spark to the home.

"She enjoyed a good joke and had a great sense of humour," she said.

"She was a real people's person and always strove to remain as independent as she could."

Ms Marsh said she also never failed to keep everyone in the loop.

"She really loved listening to the news and talkback radio. She was the first one to always inform us and say 'have you heard about so and so on the news'."

Taranaki Daily News