Many of the drivers and operations team at Ritchies Transport depots across the country have a long history in the business – but not too many can celebrate five decades of experience.
Our Christchurch team has been proud to thank and farewell Christchurch driver Doug Wade, who finished his last shift this morning – nearly 52 years since he first joined on March 15 in 1971.
Over all those years of service to the community Doug has welcomed literally thousands of passengers onto his buses, worked through no less than three different bus exchanges and had a number of roles including bus inspector.
He’s worked for Ritchies, then Red Bus and then Ritchies again from 1991 and says bus driving is a satisfying and enjoyable career, with the highlight for him the passengers and the Ritchies team he works with.
Doug was just 23 when he made the decision to take up bus driving as a career and has no regrets.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. You can change over different services, from school runs, urban runs or charters and Tours. You can change your holidays up.”
Doug was surprised by his farewell morning tea at the Ferry Road depot this morning – “I wasn’t expecting any of this” – and also to learn he was getting a bonus day, released from the shift he was expecting to do this weekend.
He’s heading away for a week’s camping and when he’s back Doug will still be behind the wheel, not of a bus, but indulging his love of vintage cars. Ritchies Southern Area Manager, Michelle Clemence, says to stay 50 years in one job is a remarkable achievement and his loyalty and dedication to Ritchies and to the community are to be commended.