IT’S the highlight of Karen Mills’ day and has been for a while.
But it’s not what you might think or expect.
Even Karen herself, who lives in Echuca, couldn’t have known the effect Bev Bradshaw would have. And certainly couldn’t have guessed Bev would help her win the Australian Writers’ Centre competition.
So who is Bev and what did she do?
Bev is the lollipop lady at the new Northern Hwy children’s crossing in Echuca and formed the basis of Karen’s ‘‘incredible true story’’ in 25 words — ‘‘The petite lollipop lady in her 60s, who always waves and gives a loving smile as I drive by on my way to work daily’’.
But Karen (and now Bev’s) story goes beyond 25 words, of course, and that’s thanks to the Campaspe Murray Writers’ Group, of which Karen is a member, and who suggested she interview Bev.
‘‘One school morning I was able to do just that,’’ Karen said.
‘‘Bev started her new job as the lollipop lady at the beginning of this year ... she is touching the hearts of more people than she will ever know.’’
Karen said Bev had seen some funny things in her short time guarding the crossing.
‘‘When asked about some of the funniest things she has seen on the job, she told me about seeing people putting on their make-up and another time seeing someone cleaning their teeth,’’ Karen said.
‘‘She giggled and said recently she got stuck in the mud as she was going to her car.
‘‘As we were talking beside her car, about 9.10am as her shift had already finished, Bev said, ‘just a moment, there are some kids who need to cross the road’.
‘‘She grabbed her lollipop sign and off she went.’’
Classic Bev, the job’s never done if someone needs a hand.
Bev and her husband Brad moved to Echuca 23 years ago and she had spent the past decade caring for him before he was moved into Bupa for specialised care and where sadly he died last year.
But Bev still visits Bupa every Monday for bingo and Friday to share ‘‘some love’’.
She still can’t believe she got the lollipop job: ‘‘it’s such a great job’’.
And it seems — to Karen at least — she’s putting in a remarkable effort.
‘‘When I left the interview, we hugged,’’ Karen said. ‘‘Thank you Bev for being an amazing lady. You brighten our days with your warm smile and friendly wave.’’
Bev thanked all the lollipop supervisors.
‘‘And for them to have a good day from me,’’ she said.