Buses just the ticket to Medal of the Order of Australia for Lesmurdie man

Buses just the ticket to Medal of the Order of Australia for Lesmurdie man

Buses were the spaceships of Pat Hallahan’s era, sparking a lifelong interest in the mode of transport.

Mr Hallahan said he was just four years old when he fell in love with buses.

“I grew up in difficult circumstances because my mum was unmarried with two children and we had to move from West Perth to a little cottage in Lesmurdie,” he said.

“It was a lonely old bushy place but Kostera’s Kalamunda buses passed my door and they became the spaceships of my era.

“I loved the sight, sound and colour of buses and it never left me.”

Mr Hallahan said times remained tough when he finished school at 14, so he got a job at Jimmy Crabb’s general store.

“At lunchtime I would go up the hill to Haynes Street with my bike and look at the Kalamunda buses being worked on in the yard,” he said.

“One of the original mechanics walked past me one day and said I was welcome in the yard anytime. My interest in buses took off from there.

“I applied to be a bus driver but the company was going through a hard time, so at the end of 1956 I started teachers college.

“However Jack Kostera asked me to collect fares on the 7.10am bus through Lesmurdie in exchange for a half fare ticket.

“For me that was an extra dollar to subsidise the $6 a week I received for teachers college.”

Mr Hallahan said at his first teacher posting in Kojanup he continued to indulge his love of buses.

“The school was short of a school bus driver so I was given special licence to drive the bus,” he said.

“In 1983 I joined the Bus Museum of WA, later to become the Bus Preservation Society, and in 1985 I was able to buy my own bus which is now housed at the Kalamunda History Village.

“The Society and the Village are my number one hobbies.”

Gooseberry Hill resident Carol Buckley was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to the Crown and to public administration in WA.

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