"We just liked Katherine, it's a friendly place."
Talking on her "veranda of knowledge" Bess Hart recounts her first memories from moving to Katherine in 2008 with her late husband Ted.
Born and bred in the Northern Territory in the midst of the second World War, Mrs Hart spent her formative years in Alice Springs before living for many years on Hodgson River station with her family.
She thought the station was where she would stay but Katherine is her home now, where she has become a well known and popular part of the community.
"We got to know Katherine... we knew other people and just liked it," she said.
"We had a cemetery out at Hodgson River and we planned to live there and die there... [moving] was the best thing that could have happened."
She will not be going back to Alice Springs, claiming the night time winter temperatures are too cold in the Red Centre compared to the Top End.
Mrs Hart has her roots on the land and said she cannot stand the idea of living in a town centre, let alone a city.
"I've only lived in a town for eight years of my whole life, I couldn't face the thought of being in a street," she said.
"We liked Katherine, but we just wanted some space."
The couple found their space on a property on Gorge Road, a short drive away from the centre of Katherine.
Mrs Hart is known for hosting the Biggest Morning Tea every year, in an effort to raise funds for the Cancer Council.
2021 will be the 11th year in a row for the ever-growing fundraiser, which collected $16,000 last year according to Mrs Hart.
"We've got cancer on both sides of our family," she said
"Ted and I were saying we should have a morning tea and just charge our family, we can invite our friends too, our neighbours... it just gradually grew and grew."
Mrs Hart said every year she questions if she has the energy levels to organise such a significant fundraiser, but always finds the community spirit in Katherine is enough motivation to give something back.
Living alone now with her two dogs, Mrs Hart is already well prepared for the next Biggest Morning Tea on April 17.
"I've had a good life, I've been looked after so much," she said.
"Katherine's given me a good go."
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