To help celebrate Queensland Seniors Week on 18–26 August, we caught up with some local senior citizens whose contributions to our community deserve our thanks.
TREVOR AND RHONDA HOOD
Born in Cooroy in 1941, Trevor Hood spent his early life in the Brisbane suburbs and finished school at the scholarship year (end of primary school). Being part of a large family, there was no money for further education and by 12 he was delivering newspapers and helping out at the family saw mill.
By 16, Trevor was working in the sugar industry cutting cane during the cane season and travelling to Shepparton in Victoria for the fruit season, which is where he met his wife Rhonda.
“We met at the SPC canning factory — I used to put extra fruit in the tins to catch her eye,” Trevor says.
“It must’ve worked because we were married a year later!”
In search of a better life, Trevor went on to work at the Mt Isa mines and over a 17-year career progressed from an underground nipper to a senior underground foreman.
“What life has taught me is that, regardless of circumstances, you can achieve your ambitions through hard work, listening and always learning.”
Having always wanted to return to the coast, Trevor and Rhonda moved to Townsville in 1985 and spent seven years turning an ordinary newsagency into an extraordinary one but his mining contacts kept calling.
“I was called away on two mining ventures — the Tully Hydro Electricity Scheme and to Charters Towers for the start-up of an open-cut mine. I commuted so I could still help with the newsagency.”
Even when Trevor and Rhonda sold the newsagency in 1992 to travel around Australia, the phone kept ringing.
“We cut the holiday short so I could come back and work for the Selwyn mine near Cloncurry,” Trevor says.
“I was fly-in, fly-out for seven or eight years, progressing from safety officer to underground manager.”
Trevor has also volunteered at the Army Museum of North Queensland, now at Jezzine Barracks, for 18 years and was awarded Life Membership and a commendation by the Army’s History unit.
Rhonda is a hard worker too, having spent 25 years employed at the Wee Care crisis centre. At 72, she’s still going strong — committed to the children she cares for there.
“We also have three children of our own (two daughters and a son), five grandchildren and one great-grandchild,” Rhonda says. “We’ve been very fortunate.”