A marriage that stops traffic: Currambine guards married 46 years

Married, with children: Ray and Joy Harper are a familiar and welcome sight for the children they help across Connolly Drive. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d471775
Married, with children: Ray and Joy Harper are a familiar and welcome sight for the children they help across Connolly Drive. Picture: Martin Kennealey www.communitypix.com.au d471775

RAY and Joy Harper are familiar faces to the Clarkson Community High School students who cross Connolly Drive each week.

But who are the people behind the friendly smiles that rain or shine usher local children and adults alike across the road to safety?

The Currambine husband and wife team, who grew up in London and met through one of Ray’s cousins, have been married for 46 years.

They moved to Perth in 2010 to be with their daughter, son-in-law and three “handsome” grandsons.

Ray was the first to became a traffic warden and in 2015 started at the Connolly Drive crossing.

“As they were widening the road last year I did cover at various crossings around the area,” he said.

“I started back at Connolly in February.”

Joy followed suit in May this year and joined Ray in Clarkson as two wardens were needed to cover the widened road.

“We work 10 hours a week; our duties are to ensure all the students and adults get across the road safely,” Joy said.

“We both enjoy being out in the fresh air and doing a worthwhile job for the community, plus we both really enjoy the job. We have worked together before so it is easy. Ray has trained me in the job as he has more experience than me.”

Ray said since taking on the role he had learnt to be more aware of vehicles and traffic.

“You do develop a bond with the students. They all are polite and say ‘thank you, have a nice day’,” he said.

“We do not cross many parents but the ones we do are so nice and even the younger children in their prams say ‘thank you’. It just brings a smile to your face.”

Joy said when they were working the crosswalk they had to be aware of everything happening around them.

“We always tell people what a great job it is; some think it is voluntary but you do get paid for doing something you enjoy,” she said.

Anyone interested in becoming a traffic warden can find out more by calling the Traffic Warden State Management Unit on 6274 8731.