Noël Dubé, 79 years old, leads schoolchildren on board its buses yellow since now a half-century. Indefatigable, he held this spring to make a return behind the wheel despite the COVID-19.
“It is necessary that I work, otherwise I make bad moves “, starts the joke the friendly driver, met at the beginning of the week, while his employer was getting ready to mark its 50 years in the business.
Eric Mailloux, director of school transport at Bus Quebec, did not return. “It is really rare that you could see it. Especially in the school transport, there is a lot of turnover, ” he says.
Mr. Dubé, he cannot imagine doing anything else. He began driving school bus in September 1970, after having worked in the woods as an agent of the wildlife.
At the beginning, he accepts the job offered by an acquaintance to ” improve his lot “. But he quickly developed a taste.
His secret ? “There has to be a driver to be understanding, patient and he loves the youth. And that, I have, because at home, we had 16 children “, lance-t-il.
In the course of his long career, Mr. Dubé was able to console him-schoolers and impose the discipline to rebellious teenagers.
He remembers the young man who had slashed the leatherette material of a bench, with a knife or another one of those white sheets flying in the wind, thrown through the windows of the bus by young people of secondary school who had just finished their school year.
Cross modes and eras
Aboard his vehicle, Mr. Dubé has experienced all the trends that have marked generations, balls to the babies After Kale, going through the cards of hockey, Pokemon, and bracelets fluo.
“But the fashion jackets bellybutton in the middle of winter, this is something I’ve never understood,” he says, laughing.
The years passed and the children got wise, ” said Mr. Dubé. “They know what behaviors they need to have on board. And if there is a problem, it is necessary to settle immediately. “
A real force of nature, he has never missed a day of work in 50 years, he swears. “It is not a little cold that would prevent me from returning to work. “
After weeks of confinement this spring, Mr. Dubé has wanted to get behind the wheel during the return to mid-may. His employer gave him a circuit little busy, not wanting too much to expose him considering his age.
“The first morning, he called me to tell me that there was nobody aboard her bus. He looked disappointed, ” says Eric Mailloux.
Even if it is “on the edge” retirement, Noël Dubé has not yet been decided. He could be back behind the wheel this fall, ” he said. “My license is still good until 2022… “