Bus drivers get a big 'thank you'

21:59, Aug 22 2013
Southland Times photo
School bus drivers, from left, Margaret Ashby, Lindsay Wright, and Robin Benington, receive long-service awards from Ritchies Coachlines.

It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.Being a school bus driver can have its ups and downs say those behind the wheel, but at least there are occasional rewards, too.

Those rewards came in the form of long-service certificates and a slap-up dinner at Dunedin's Larnach Castle for three dedicated stalwarts of the trade, marking more than 50 collective years in the hot seat.

Margaret Ashby (20 years), Robin Benington, (20 years), and Lindsay Wright (10 years), were Clutha representatives among those honoured at the special Ritchies Coachlines Otago award ceremony.

On the whole the job was a pleasurable one, although younger passengers could have their moments, Mr Wright said.

''You get some pretty lively behaviour from the kids sometimes,'' he said.

''I've only had to drop a busload at the police station once, though.''

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The upside of the role was meeting people and staying active.

''A lot of drivers are of, shall we say, retirement age, so it helps get you up and going for the day, and out among the community,'' he said.

Ritchies Balclutha supervisor Les MacKenzie paid homage to the three drivers' patience and dedication.

''They thoroughly deserve their awards. You couldn't find three better people anywhere,'' he said.

Clutha Leader