Joan Knight greets a 4-year-old boy at the op shop counter.

"Joan, do you live here?" he asks. The 93-year-old tells him she lives down the road.

"But you are here all the time," the 4-year-old says. "I am going out the back to see if I can find your bed."

It is these interactions with her customers at the St Andrews Church's The Good Opportunity Shop that put a giant smile on Knight's face.


Knight has worked at the Macville Rd op shop for nearly 30 years.

The 93-year-old first put up her hand to volunteer her time on February 12, 1989, when she had retired from fulltime work.

"I was asked if I was interested in helping and I said, 'Oh yeah, I'll come'. "Half a dozen of us started that day," she says.

There were not too many op shops around back in the late 1980s, Knight says. "Now there are so many I can't count them all... and we are all so busy."

Knight said she was working every day of the week when she first started, but her volunteering hours had dropped to just two days a week and being on-call.

It is meant to be Knight's day off but she is still working. "I am cutting tickets for the shop," she says through the phone.

Customers would find Knight mostly behind the counter, but she had many different roles.

"I can do anything because I have been there so long," Knight says with a chuckle.

Knight says people had donated many different items to the opshop in her 29 years of volunteering there.

"People give a lot of stuff, beautiful stuff too," she says. "We are always busy selling stuff, we have very nice things. A lot of people buy children's clothes because children go through them so fast."

Knight recalls a customer who had walked into the op shop for the first time.

The long-time volunteer jumped at the chance to show her a good bargain and the customer walked away with a brand new duvet with pillow cases for $4.

"It was so new it still had the price tag on it for $89," Knight says.

Regular customers knew Knight. "When I am not here they wonder where I am," she says.

Knight had become fond of twin girls who rushed to see her when their mother brought them in.

"'Joan's here, Joan's here' they will shout," Knight says with joy. "They want to come in to talk to Joan."

It was nearly Knight's 94th birthday and she was still an active member of the Scottish Society, "a member since 1964" and the RSA Women's Section. "I am life members of both," Knight says.

"I also have my garden and plenty of house work. I am never bored."

- Age 93
- Started volunteering at the St Andrews Church's The Good Opportunity Shop on February 12, 1989
- Knight will celebrate 30 years at the op shop on February 12, 2019.