Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis enjoys a laugh with volunteer driver and vice president of Grafton Community Bus Mick Quinn as he takes residents from St Catherines Villa, including Joan McDonald and Beryl Slade (back)
Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis enjoys a laugh with volunteer driver and vice president of Grafton Community Bus Mick Quinn as he takes residents from St Catherines Villa, including Joan McDonald and Beryl Slade (back) Adam Hourigan

Chris gets a day trip on the community bus

GRAFTON Community Bus vice-president Mick Quinn pulled up to the tables at Corcoran Park with a bunch of happy travellers from St Catherine's Villa, but this time, he brought a special guest.

Riding along was member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, who Mr Quinn invited along to see what the bus does.

"We have no government assistance at all, so I thought I'd invite Chris along to see what we are all about,” Mr Quinn said.

"I thought about it one day when I was receiving a donation from a community group, and thought I'd take it on myself to approach the local member.

"You never know until you have a go.”

So the bus took a detour to pick up the local member from his office, before stopping off at Corcoran Park with some cups of tea and some scones for morning tea.

"He was very generous with his time, and as well gave us a personal donation towards the cause,” Mr Quinn said.

"And we've discussed some options for trying to apply for grants in the next year.”

The bus is run entirely on volunteer labour, and allows residents of homes to get out into the community.

"We take them out on day trips, and get them outside from staring at the four walls,” Mr Quinn said.

"And they love it, and the staff from all the homes are bloody fantastic. It makes it very worthwhile.”

Mr Gulaptis said the work was invaluable for the local community, and said they had done a great job in keeping the service alive on donations.

"The maintenance, the fuel, the running costs though, it all costs money,” he said.

"It'd be great for members of the community, or businesses and even the homes to be able to contribute towards keeping it going.

"Ultimately it will be people like their parents that will benefit from the bus.”

And as for the day out, Mr Gulaptis was effusive.

"The company is of the highest order, they're all very sharp,” he said.

"And the scone, absolutely delicious.”



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