Bill Van Ast and Bennett’s staff say their goodbyes

Zoe KeenanGeraldton Guardian

Bill Van Ast and staff said their goodbyes today as the iconic Bennett’s clothing store closed after nine decades.

“It’s a sad day for me. I’m going to miss staff and customers alike. They’ve all been such an important part of our lives,” he said.

Mr Van Ast said he was sad to see the store go before reaching the 100-year milestone.

“I’m sad it’s not going to continue as Bennett’s, but it’s time for me to retire,” he said.

“I hope the building will become a retailer once again. There are plenty of opportunities for new businesses.”

Mr Van Ast said memories of the store including payrolls and photos from as early as the 1930s would be placed at the Greenough Pioneer Museum and Greenough Historical Society.

He thanked Geraldton and said it would always be home.

“It’s a great place and I’d do it all again,” he said.

The building will be auctioned tomorrow on site at noon.

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