Last Sunday when The Enterprise Store closed its doors one couldn't help but feel that it was the end of an era. For almost forty seven years Colleen Howarth (along with her husband Charlie) has provided locals and visitors with their daily provisions. 'Colleen's shop' has also been a place to connect and in many ways was the village hub.
When Colleen and Charlie bought the Enterprise Store from Rennie Clarke in 1970 the highway was still on their doorstep. Over the years the couple have seen many changes. “When we came here,” recalls Colleen, “we had a barbershop, two cafes, a butchery, a bank, the manual telephone exchange and a hospital.” Times have certainly changed and no doubt if those walls could speak they would tell one hell of a story! Over the years the store has been operated by Poile, Kelly, Isaacs & Cohen, Rowlands and Dalton Brothers to name but a handful. In 1903, Mr Links sold the shop to Arthur Hewish who employed William Clark who later became a partner then owner and was there for more than 50 years, prior to Colleen & Charlie.
When mayor Scott Ferguson presented Colleen with the 'Key to Carcoar' back in January he acknowledged her importance within the local community. “She knows all the names of 70-plus years of Carcoar children, and the children of those children. Colleen knows when a phone call or a hug or a laugh can change someone’s day. She is the first to welcome new residents and introduce them to us all.” While Colleen and Charlie may have shut up shop they will continue to live upstairs and support the local community in their retirement and continue to enjoy, as Colleen puts it ,“the many wonderful people and the genuine friendships that we have formed”
On behalf of the Carcoar community we wish you both well.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!