VETERAN canteen lady Judy Bagley will hang up the spatula and tongs in December after more than three decades at Birkdale South State School.
The 64-year-old has been volunteering in the tuck shop for so long that the parents of current students still remember her from when they attended school.
Mrs Bagley said the canteen had changed significantly since the days of jam doughnut and chocolate cake lunches in the late eighties but her routine had remained largely the same.
She has been the canteen convener for the past 21 years after starting as a volunteer when her first born son arrived at the school in 1987.
"I'm here at 6.30am to complete any prep that I have to do for the day," Mrs Bagley said.
"We still have the old-school brown paper bags so at around 9am they come in from the classrooms.
"I leave about 2pm and then I do banking for the school."
Parents and citizens committee president Jenny Gidley, who started at the school around the same time as Mrs Bagley, said she would miss her hard work, dedication and friendship.
"I have been here since 1986 so we've been together through thick and thin," she said.
"I value her interactions with the students and parents and the willingness to go out of her way to accommodate everybody."
Mrs Bagley said talking to students was her favourite part of the job.
"They keep you young and on your toes," she said.
"I think you need to have a passion for the school you are working at.
"If you maintain that passion for your staff and volunteers it seems to work very well."
Mrs Gidley said nobody had a stronger relationship with the students than Mrs Bagley.
She said their respect extended into their adult lives, with several parents asking principal Linda Knight during enrolment interviews whether Mrs Bagley was still working behind the canteen.
"I am at the stage where the parents used to be kids here," Mrs Bagley said.
"They come up to you and say 'Mrs Bagley, do you remember me?'
"I tell them yes, but you can call me Judy now."
Birkdale South State School has been included on the tuck shop of the year shortlist for Queensland Tuckshop Day.
Mrs Bagley said she hoped the canteen would maintain its high standards after she left but said for that to happen they needed people to volunteer.
The school will hold a special assembly to honour her contribution before she retires on December 13.
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