After surviving the Great Depression and WWII Norma, 92, has advice for panic shoppers

Words of wisdom: Norma Williams, 92, can take the long view on what constitutes hard times. Picture: Chris Lane
Words of wisdom: Norma Williams, 92, can take the long view on what constitutes hard times. Picture: Chris Lane

Norma Williams, 92, has lived through the Great Depression and World War II but she has never seen anything like the panic buying she has witnessed in the past few weeks.

Norma, who keeps her daughter, Megan company at the family business, Aangela's Florist on Railway Parade, Kogarah said she has recently seen both good and bad behaviour by shoppers.

"I went up to the Kogarah shopping centre at 6.45am and the queue for Woollies was back to the entrance of the railway station," Norma said.

"When I got inside there was no toilet paper, no tissues, no paper towels," she said.

"During the war we had coupons when stuff was rationed. I never remember my mother going without.

"You couldn't get meat. You couldn't get sugar or butter. They were all on coupons.

"You knew what you could get by how many coupons you had.

"There was none of this stripping the shelves.

"No-one argued like this. People never panicked. It's out of control.

"If everybody went and did their normal weekly shopping there would be no problems," Norma said.

"People have never lived through the bad years. They don't know what it is to worry."

Norma has also experienced some unexpected kindness.

"I was in the queue at Terry White Chemist and the staff came and took me out of the queue and served me straightaway," she said.

"And I was in the supermarket looking for toilet paper. A young fellow in his 30s saw I was after toilet paper he said, 'Here, have mine,' and gave me his and went and got back in the queue.

"Some people are very nice."

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