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SUE BISHOP MARKS 54 YEARS AS AS A PROFESSIONAL DRIVER AND HER 74TH BIRTHDAY! Macleay Island resident and renowned veteran bus driver, Sue Bishop, has done it again. Last month (October) she attained a massive milestone. In one go, she celebrated her 74th birthday and marked 54 continuous years as a professional driver. No, don’t get too excited! She wasn’t a professional racing driver. She has been, in fact, a driver with a much more important driving role: getting people to their destinations in a safe and proper manner. Sue is perhaps best known on the islands as the owner of the Hydrobath at Bay Island Vets, and driving on her favourite bus route 250 which services the Redlands Marina. But her first love has always been driving some pretty impressive vehicles. Sue could have ‘retired’ several years ago and collected a pension. She was having none of that and kept on driving and driving! “I always have. Every day is different and exciting. I suppose it is because I never know what is going to happen next,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander. Sue started out as a driver way back in the 1960’s, but her love for driving started when she was just 14 years of age. “I loved the trams in Brisbane when I was small and would watch and follow them, fantasising I could drive one,” she told The Friendly Bay Islander. She didn’t get a chance for a career as a driver until several years later in the late 1960’s. “My first job was in the printing industry near Warwick, but one day I took off for Brisbane and tried to get a job as a driver with Avis Rent-a-Car. “I didn’t have the experience or the knowledge of Brisbane. “I rented a room at a girls’ hostel and ended up working as a cleaner until I learned more about Brisbane, driving my little Fiat all over the place getting to know the layout of the city,” Sue said. A stint as an usherette and a Go Go dancer followed before finally starting with J.E. Carter as a driver. “Other courier work followed and then I decided a cab licence would be handy.” In the meantime, Sue married and work continued as a driver and switchboard operator with Yellow Cabs and she was even a limo driver for celebrities at the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. It was in 1990 after skating at a Brisbane ice skating rink that she was introduced to the possibilities of driving a bus thanks to a Greyhound bus driver. “Buses were challenging and different and I loved every minute of it,” Sue said. Soon after, she obtained work with Clarks Logan City Buses and stayed with the company working for almost 25 years and getting to know up to four generations of passengers. Seveal years ago Sue decided on a major change and moved from her permanent job to a part time position with Transdev. That brought her into the realm of the Redlands and the Bay Islands, moving here more than 10 years ago. Amazingly, Sue Bishop still works regularly 38 hours a week, and her position at Transdev has been upgraded to ‘full time’. Her days starts with the first ferry at 4.30am and then split or straight shifts. It would be fair to say Sue Bishop has observed much and learned heaps whilst driving all over Brisbane. She says driving a bus is all about safety, zero tolerance and duty of care. “At TRANSDEV the vast majority of my colleagues have outstanding customer service skills and we make a good team; one that I am immensely proud of.” To mark her latest driving milestone and 74th birthday she was joined by her many island friends, including Redlands MP Kim Richards, at a special luncheon. One of them just happened to be Ethel Reid who, with her sister Rhonda, was one of Sue’s very first taxi customers way back in 1977.

• Sue Bishop and ‘first client’ Ethel Reid and some island friends and supporters.