AS the resident lollipop man at Catherine McAuley for the last eight years, John Owens didn’t expect he’d learn more manning the Hill Street pedestrian crossing than he did when he was at school 50 years ago.
But he did.
“I did it because I enjoy doing it,” the retiring Mr Owens said.
“It was the only work I could do after prematurely retiring at 62 at Bloomfield.
“I couldn’t do any more physical work and I wasn’t the smartest, but I learned a lot off the children every day. They always knew all the answers.”
For his work as the school’s crossing supervisor, Mr Owens was recently honoured with the special McAuley award, the first community recipient of the gong.
“John is retiring, he’s just been fantastic for the school,” Catherine McAuley principal Michael Croke said.
“He is the first person the children see on their way to school and he is always so happy and cheerful.
“He will be sorely missed.”
The school recently named its 2012 McAuley medal winners, too.
Awarded for their contribution to school spirit were Cooper Agland (kindergarten), Lucy Cook (year 1), Mitchell Crean (year 2), Elizabeth Gibson (year 3), Dominic Gibson (year 4), Matthew Gummer (year 5) and Lauren Eather (year 6).
“It’s basically for kids who embody the school motto, which is faith, learning and justice,” Mr Croke said.
“We had a hard job picking the winners with only seven children out of 500 earning an award.”