Excerpt from 'THE CLOCK OF TIME' by Gertrude Ruston. (pp 230-231)
"By the time I retired a switchboard had been installed between the office, the workshop and Palmerston Street, so that communication was possible between workshops ad outside contacts.
During my period as Director we had conducted an annual street appeal with the valuable help of an old colleague, Mrs Phil Robertson. Collectors were not easy to find but, once again, my old friends Miss M. Thomson, Mrs Muriel Haning and Mrs W.W. Mitchel rallied to the cause.
Help from the workers on these occasions had been very disappointing in view of the large amount of voluntary work put in by Board members and their friends, but a few stalwarts from the workers, namely Messrs Eric Folks and Bart, Mesdames Brooks, Donald and Miss Heath always gave us wonderful support on the day.
We also sought and received donations from well-known business people and sporting bodies which helped to cover our expenses.
After 1977 the State Government reduced its grant to $8.000 per annum for three years, which does not cover the salary of the Works Manager, nor the inflationary costs of rent, water, telephone and electricity.
There is a constant fear that the M.R.P.A. will decide to give the necessary three months' notice and proceed with the freeway which is on the drawing board for the future. the obvious answer is that we must have a real drive for money to be used for a building fund, and ask the Government and councils for a piece of land somewhere on which to build a full sized workshop and recreation building.
We were offered two large buildings in the now redundant Graylands Teachers Training College which will take in the Fremantle, Mosman park, Nedlands and Claremont areas. A special committee headed by Mr H.Mazzucchelli is in charge of the Graylands building. For the first time the workers using these buildings will have the use of excellent washing and toilet facilities. Once again these buildings may only be granted to us for a limited period, and do not lessen the need for a permanent home.
We are an ageing population and compulsory *early retirement is threatening and may soon be upon us. More and more people will require the services of Beehive if they are to avoid mental and physical breakdowns, periods in hospital and that dreaded sentence, nursing home care.
How do we achieve the necessary support? A number of the organisations employ professional fund raisers and public relations people. should we follow suit?
Personal approaches with questionnaires to all Members of Parliament on both sides of the House would at least publicise our need and, once again, Local Government could and should help.
When the new Works Manager was appointed it was difficult to persuade the workers at Beehive that they must take all their problems to him. After all, in their eyes I was Beehive - I had started it and been with it through all its growing pains - and they found it difficult to transfer their allegiance. Even after I had left the office they came to my home or telephoned me about their problems, and I decided I must sever myself completely in order to give Mr Levinson a fair chance to operate freely.
Although I had retired from the position of Director and Works Manager I had retained that of Hon. Secretary of the Board of Management. In order to permit me to take a holiday, Muriel Haning kindly agreed to act as Board Secretary for such meetings as might take place while I was away. I therefore booked a bus tour through South and Central Australia and up to Northern Australia and Arnhem Land to take five weeks, returning on the 3rd of August."
To conclude the story of Beehive Industries mum concludes by giving a list of all the people who had been good enough to serve on the Beehive Industries Board since the beginning. I won't bother to include that list as I am the only person likely to know any of them. In fact there are only about 4 names I recall from a list of 21, one of whom was of course Muriel Haning, that stalwart that never let mum down over many years.
*I would imagine mum would perhaps be in favour of the new pension/retirement age of 67 and even possibly the proposed age of 70. Unfortunately not everyone has mum's get up and go and I feel there will be many people not able to work until either 67 of 70. In mum's day women could apply for the age pension at age 60 and men at age 65. How things have changed since then.