END OF AN ERA: Sandison’s hits the road in ‘Roundabout’ way
TO PARAPHRASE Paul Simon, there must be 50 ways to leave Gympie, including "Hop on the bus Gus" and "Make a new plan Stan."
To this we can now add, "Go for a drive Clive."
"And get yourself free."
One of Gympie's most popular bus drivers, Clive Sandison is really going mobile this time, selling the Musgrave St house and all his Roundabout Tours buses, his heart set on taking a permanent travelling holiday with his wife Kathleen.
"I want to show her some of the Australia I've seen," he said yesterday, recalling tours to destinations near and far around the continent.
Disputes with Gympie Regional Council planners about parking his buses at his home, breaching the zoning apparently, took a toll.
Then came the coronavirus lockdown, which all made it just too hard.
"My customers were 65-plus and vulnerable. Some of them were 85-plus.
"I got some beautiful letters from people we've carted around.
"I worked showing other people around Australia, now I'll show Kathleen," he said.
"We did mostly day tours, some short overnight or two-night tours, even a few four-night ones to Coffs Harbour, and some complete tour packages and charters.
"We did trips to Armidale, one to Stanthorpe, Roma, Rockhampton and Yeppoon.
"We did some longer ones to Tasmania and Kurumba.
"We had regular customers and for some of them it was their only way to travel. We had one lady who had already booked her seat for our next Christmas tour.
"Christmas was busy because a lot of the older people had lost their partners and didn't want to spend Christmas alone."
"We were going for 12 years. "I worked for Polleys part time for 20 years."
"We had four buses. Three of them are in Brisbane and for sale and the one at home is where we will live.
"They tell me it's a bad time to sell, but I don't care. I've been broke before," he said.