Mount Annan lollipop man retires after 18 years

Dedicated: Bernie Robertson is going to miss helping Mount Annan Public Students to cross the road. Picture: Kayla Osborne
Dedicated: Bernie Robertson is going to miss helping Mount Annan Public Students to cross the road. Picture: Kayla Osborne

Bernie Robertson has been a fixture on Stenhouse Drive, Mount Annan for the past 18 years.

The Mount Annan resident has been a lollipop man for Mount Annan Public School students for almost two decades.

But the time has come for Mr Robertson, 75, to lay down his crossing sign, put his feet up and relax.

“When I retired from work I decided to take up the crossing job because it gave me something to do,” he said.

“I didn’t realise it would last 18 years. I have loved every minute of it.

“I love the families, the people, the kids, even the people in the school but it was time to go.”

Mr Robertson said numerous health problems had plagued him over the past year.

“My knee gave up on me and I have had to have a few operations – survived all them no worries but I was starting to lose time to my specialist appointments,” he said.

“On Thursday last week I couldn’t walk at all so I decided that would be my last day at work and I handed in my resignation.”

Mr Robertson said working at the crossing was the longest job he had ever had.

“I’ve seen kids starting out on their very first day at school, then they go to the high school down the road and they still walk past and wave to me,” he said.

“I was in the hospital not that long ago and there was nurse in there who had just finished her training. She recognised me from when I would help her across the road as a kid.”

The dedicated community member’s crossing career was not without controversy.

Back in 2014 Roads and Maritime Services cautioned Mr Robertson for giving children a high-five as they crossed the road.

However parents, teachers and other community members backed Mr Robertson and organised a petition in his defence.

Lollipop man Bernie Robertson back in 2014. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Lollipop man Bernie Robertson back in 2014. Picture: Jonathan Ng

He said it never affected his passion for the job.

“I would recommend this to anyone,” he said.

“It’s so fulfilling and very enjoyable.

“The people are so beautiful. I know them all and their children as well.

“Little babies who aren’t even at school give me a wave.”

Mr Robertson said he hoped to have left the job better than when he started.

“I think I’ve taught the kids well,” he said.

“I came up to speak to my replacement the other day and she said the kids were all well-trained and I’ve made it easier for her.”

Mr Robertson was born in Scotland and emigrated to Australia with his wife Catherine and their children in 1975.

The Robertson’s first lived in Airds, then Raby and finally settled in Mount Annan.

“We love the community here – I will miss working at the crossing every day,” he said.

“I’ll never forget my time here because I have absolutely loved every minute of it.”

Mount Annan Public School will hold a farewell event for Mr Robertson on Thursday, August 30.