AFTER a decade of stopping traffic to ensure the safety of our school children, Mr Don Bland has handed over his ‘lollipop’ stick.
Affectionately known by many as the lollipop man, not only is Don always friendly and smiling, he remembers conversations he has had and has enjoyed sharing of information on gardening.
Brett Allen, Head of Junior School, St Philip’s Christian College, said, “I could go two weeks and not see you, yet you remember our conversation and ask how things had gone, you have a genuine interest in our lives.”
Being involved in sports throughout his life, Don, told News Of The Area, “I love to see children doing sport, which is why I go to the carnivals to cheer on the children and will continue even though I am now retired.”
Don, wiping away tears said, “I’m very emotional with things like this, I couldn’t have done it without the support of teachers and the wonderful polite children.”
“I still remember the day the new principal (Dr Tim Petterson) came and introduced himself to me, came over, shook my hand and I remember he was happy and smiling, it’s good to see he is still the same today.”
With a steady flow of hugs, kisses and handshakes, many wiped away tears as they recalled how their children had crossed the road under the supervision of Don, and how he will be missed,
Don said, “I have been here ten years and I have enjoyed every moment of being the lollipop man and have enjoyed the company of staff and children, I have many special memories to take with me.”
Brett said, “There are lollipop men and women who are OK, some are good and then you have the likes of Don, on behalf of the staff, families and children, I would like to offer you a genuine thank you, we will all miss you very much.”
By Mandy ELLIS