Organiser of the Perfectfit factory workers reunion later this month, Judy Nelson, is hoping to have more than a 100 people attend, having already had responses from more than 80 of the former clothing factory workers.
‘‘I’ve got a list of 224 (people), but that’s all up and I’ve been contacting, and my mates have been contacting, calling them, with facebook,’’ Mrs Nelson said.
‘‘You get them and some say they can’t come, but that’s going to happen.
‘‘I’m hoping everyone will come and write on a bit of paper what they’ve done for the past 27 years, which will be a bit of fun.’’
It’s a timely event as the owner of the old factory, Nick Taylor has plans to demolish the building to make way for a housing development.
Mrs Nelson is also encouraging people who worked in the factory when it was Latoof and Callil, employing many women from the Benalla Migrant Camp.
In the 1980s it then became Perfectfit, employing up to 250 people making T-shirts, tracksuits, tank tops and nighties.
While the old factory now lies idle and abandoned in Coster St opposite Benalla Health, it was once abuzz with sewing machines turning out high-quality clothing for major Australian department stores.
Mrs Nelson is excited that people are travelling long distances to attend.
‘‘I was actually talking to a man the other day and he said, ‘oh, I was working at Latoof and Callil’, it was John Ward and he and his wife are coming. She used to work with us. They’re coming from Mildura,’’ Mrs Nelson said.
‘‘I had a phone call from a 90-year-old lady who said, ‘can I come?’ and I said, ‘of course!’
‘‘The manager (of Perfectfit) is coming down from Cairns with his wife, Juergen Escholz and also Peter Schultz is coming from Bendigo with his wife and he was the last manager.’’
The Perfectfit Benalla Reunion will be on March 18 at Benalla Bowls Club from 1pm to 5pm. Cost is $20 per person. Attendees are asked to RSVP and pay by March 10 to Jill Merkel at the Benalla Bowls Club, phone 57622094.
●For more information, phone Judy Nelson on 0400253344, Vena McNamara on 57626057, or Tracey Goss on 0418624832. You can also search for the event on Facebook.