STUDENTS at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic School waved goodbye to retiring Bill Evans, school crossing patrol officer or, more affectionately known as their lollypop man for the last 22 years.
On his last day, Bill, 87 years old, answered questions from an assembly of four year old children.
Important questions were raised by the safety conscious class including: “Why do you wear such bright colours?” and “Do you get angry at mums and dads in cars that don’t stop when you say so?”.
After the event Bill spoke about his most memorable day. He recalled an eight year old boy chasing him before school.
“He said to me – ‘I’m really glad I’ve seen you today! You always have the biggest smile.’ Well – That made my day; it makes it all really worthwhile.”
Corporate Director of Environment and Place, Steve Cox said: “Bill is a well-loved and respected member of the school and local community. He is also Thurrock Council’s oldest employee.
“He has devoted a substantial number of years to ensuring Thurrock’s youngest people are not only arriving to school safely, but also entering school with a big smile.”
He added: “We wish him the best of luck for his retirement.”