Flood, fire and drought ? bus driver Norm?s seen it all
By EMMA CORNFORD
AFTER 37 years as a bus driver, Norm Kane has some stories to tell.
From negotiating roads during floods to the choking dust which clogged his bus during drought time, he has spent those 37 years driving kids to school on the Casino to Grafton bus run. Then there were the enormous bushfires at Whiporie in 1968 which reduced visibility to practically zero ? but he still got the kids home.
"Except we were a bit late home that afternoon," he said.
"I had to go back down the road about six kilometres to find out if the fire had crossed the road or not because there were still kids on the bus and I couldn't drive them without knowing."
But all of that came to an end yesterday afternoon as Mr Kane completed his last ever run, dropping students from schools around Grafton to their homes as far away as Whiporie.
"I've had a great time ... and I've met some great people," he said.
"There's a couple of families who I've driven the kids to school, then they've grown up and married and had kids who I've driven as well."
Knowing each student's name, he said, was not only part of the job and a good way to get to know his charges, but was also an effective deterrent for trouble.
"When mobiles came in you'd get them up the front of the bus and say 'do you want me to call your father?', and they'd say 'oh no'. They didn't realise the mobiles didn't even work out there but typing in the number was enough de- terrent."