22 Dec Popular driver departs after 17 years
Ray Smith has safely driven more than 300,000 passengers to and from school over the course of his 17-year career as a bus driver with Popes Timboon.
The popular school bus driver is taking a step back from his daily driving to enjoy some well-earned travel and time with his family.
Operations manager David Pope said the team at Popes Timboon would miss seeing Ray everyday – as would the Timboon P12 School community.
“Ray has worked in all parts of the business and has been an excellent mentor and friend to his work colleagues,” Mr Pope said.
“It has been an incredible career that has spanned 17 years.
“Ray has become a part of the lives of so many families and I know he has loved watching children grow up and advance through their school lives at Timboon.”
Mr Pope said a lot had changed in the bus industry during Ray’s career, but what hadn’t changed was Ray’s dedication and professionalism.
“We have been very fortunate to have such a wonderful person in our organisation for so long,” he said.
“Ray is certainly leaving behind some big shoes to fill.
“It will be a sad farewell for many of us, but we are very excited for Ray and his wife Joy that they are taking some time to travel and enjoy the fruits of their labour.”
Ray’s careers, along with that of fellow retiree Enid Maea was celebrated on Wednesday night at the Popes Timboon Christmas breakup.
Enid hangs up her school bus keys
Well known Colac identity Enid Maea has hung up the keys to her school bus this week after driving more than 70,000 students to and from the Forrest Primary School.
For the past nine years, Enid has driven school buses for Popes Timboon.
Operations manager David Pope said Enid had driven everything from mini buses to coaches and would be missed by her colleagues and the Forrest school community.
“We were very lucky to have Enid as part of our team for almost a decade,” he said.
“The way she maintained her vehicles was second to none and in recent years Enid has also housed her 24-seater school bus at her home near Colac.”
Mr Pope said Enid had made the decision to step back from her regular school bus role.
“She has become an integral part of many families in the Forrest and Colac area with her caring and nurturing approach to her job,” he said.
“During her time with us she has seen many changes, but I know she is particularly happy to see such high numbers of students travelling to the Forrest Primary School these days.
“We’re really excited for Enid, who is planning to use her additional time to continue her volunteer community work and spend more time with family and friends,” he said.