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Changing of the guard at Weipa Woolworths

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By MATT NICHOLLS

WEIPA last week farewelled two of its most dedicated residents and welcomed two more to the fold.

The departure of Woolworths manager Ralph Flugler and wife Jody from Weipa’s only supermarket is sure to leave big shoes to fill for their replacements.

Jody and Ralph Flugler have departed the Weipa Woolworths store and have handed the keys to new manager Katie Farrell.

Their contribution to the Weipa community is hard to put into words.

The best way to explain it would be last week’s example.

The Sea Swift barge was delayed on Monday, meaning that in order for stock to be on the shelves for Wednesday morning, Ralph and his team worked on Tuesday morning (Australia Day) to get the job done.

It is dedication like this that has transformed the Weipa store.

When Ralph and Jody arrived six years ago, there was barely a special to be seen on the shelves.

Fast forward to today and the overall price of items has improved, as well as the quality.

A modest Ralph downplayed his role but said he enjoyed the challenge of serving a remote community.

He and Jody will “semi retire” to Cairns and left on Friday.

Replacing them will be Katie Farrell, the new manager, and her husband Michael, who will work on the floor.

They bring their young family and are excited about living and working in Weipa.

“I saw the job advertised internally and thought it would be a great opportunity,” Katie said.

“We haven’t worked in a remote community before.”

The Farrells made the move from Brisbane and Katie said she had been working for Woolies for 24 years.

“We hope to continue the good work of Ralph and Jody and make new friends here.”

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