An English accent is an unmistakable trait in Australia, so when The Community Transport Company volunteer driver, Steven Jefford picked up Coffs Harbour resident Iris Walsh, there was an instant connection.
And rightly so, the pair are both from the same city, Watford in the United Kingdom.
“The first thing I said to Iris was I know that accent, where are you from? I couldn’t believe when she answered Watford,” Steve said.
“We talked for ages about the city and the places we knew in common, I went home that night and rang my dad, who still lives there. I asked if he knew her, the phone went all quiet and he said you’re not going to believe it – I went to school with her.” he said.
For Iris, whose been living in Australia for the past 50 years, it was a pleasant surprise to meet someone who she had so much in common with, whilst going about her normal community transport trips.
“It was so nice to talk to someone who knew about the places of my childhood, it brought back memories of the people, of the buildings and shops, even the old teachers at the Parkgate School that Steve and I both attended,” Mrs. Walsh said.
“I remember it was freezing in the UK, and when my husband and I arrived in Australia and it was summer, we had no summer clothes and it was raging hot. It was great to relive those little memories,” she said.
Iris has been using The Community Transport Company’s services to access shopping, medical appointments and social outings for many years.
“I don’t know what I would do without it, because I have no transport and I don’t drive but next time I use it, I am definitely going to ask for the pommy driver.”
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