Then there was a new GMC red and yellow bus which after a year or two was sold and bought by Mr Raphie Howard. After a time this bus must have seen better days as quite often it did not appear but instead he used a cattle
truck with a crate on the tray and long hall stools to sit on. A sharp application of the brakes sent us all sliding forward. It was a bit dusty but on rainy days when the bus did not come, panel vans or 2 or more cars would pick up pupils. The back of the
panel van had a dubious cleanliness mattress to sit on and the exhaust fumes that came in through the rattling back doors was quite something. When the cars were used as many kids as possible piled in on top of one another. When the GMC bus was just about
had it, on the Toll Bar Hill we children were let out and gave the bus a push over the last bit of the hill but had to jump aboard while the bus was still slowly moving.
I remember Mr. Howard removing
one boy from the bus just west of the Toll Bar hill because of bad behaviour, but this boy just went around the back of the bus and rode to Old Warrah on a sort of rack that was on the back of the bus. Another boy whose parents worked on Millers Creek Station
was removed at Big Jacks Creek turn off and while the bus went up and down the creek I imagine this boy should have waited for the bus to pick him up but no, this boy set off across country to Millers Creek Station.Mr Howard looked up and down the roads for
quite a while but gave up. This boy made it across country and was on the bus again the next day.
Then came along a silver and green pug nose bus with floor boards with gaps and on wet days water would
splash up through the floor boards.
Except for the big floods of the early 50’s we always got to school. During one flood event we arrived at Willow Tree
to find the Catholic Church had floated on to the Highway and the flood water had gone through the school building. The Headmaster, Mr. Jack Kelly, got Mr. Howard to turn the bus around to our delight and we were sent home for a couple of days. As compensation
each pupil at Willow Tree School received from the Dept of Education a Reeves paint box and brushes set which I treasured.
I left Primary School at the end of 1956.