After spending 39 years behind the wheel of a school bus, Norbert Bragg was given a hearty farewell at a retirement party last Saturday at the Emo Legion.
About 90 people sat down for a dinner in his honour, which was followed by entertainment provided by “Highway 621” from Bergland and some square dancing, a few of which Bragg called himself.
“It was very good,” said Bragg, who was happy to see so many people from his past on hand for his retirement party.
The whole event was a surprise as organizers Sharon Lloyd and Elaine Altbauer placed posters around the district for the occasion while Bragg was out of town.
He didn’t find out about it until Pat and Joe Dorie brought him to the Legion that night.
“He was totally surprised when he walked in the door,” noted Lloyd, a fellow bus driver.
Sonny Ferris acted as emcee for the evening, which featured appearances by everyone from NDP leader Howard Hampton to former Muskie hockey coach Terry Ogden.
Besides being given the guest book with a picture of a school bus on it, and a little black billy goat (a joke gift), Bragg also received a painting, “Sweet Memories, depicting horses at Christmas time, in memory of the bus drivers’ participation in the Santa Claus parade.
“It was very nice--something to remember the occasion by,” noted Bragg.
During his long career as a bus driver, Bragg had gone far and wide. Besides busing students around the district, he had taken groups and sports teams all over the place, including Ottawa, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Seattle, and Steamboat Springs, Co.
“I put in over a million miles on the bus,” he noted.
Bragg said he never had any problems with the kids on his bus. “I always liked the students and I got along with the parents, too,” he noted.
Bragg also said he met many people over the years who impressed him with their dedication to the education field.
“Terry Ogden, John Dutton, Carol Lyons, Paul Jackson to name a few--they were all outstanding,” he recalled, many of whom were at his retirement party.
“He’s well liked. Everybody would tell you that,” said Margaret Ferris.