Carnival Band Serenades a Memorable Bus Driver
by Wayne Worden
Angus McIntyre has been driving trolley buses in Vancouver, BC, for 41 years. He has been the most senior driver in the Vancouver garage for 5 years. A recent article in the Buzzer Blog, the official blog for the Metro Vancouver transit systems, or Translink, recently put up a post indicating that Angus was about to retire.
Many “Carnies” ride the bus regularly, and since Angus’s last trip coincided with the Carnival Band’s regular rehearsal time, the band volunteered, unasked, to play for the event, provided we could work it out. Our offer was warmly received by Jhenifer of the Buzzer Blog, who sent out the necessary e-mails.
Preparation time was very short; we got the info on Thursday, and Angus’s last trip was on the following Monday. Meanwhile, most of the band was playing gigs on Saltspring Island over the weekend. A few e-mails back and forth and a quick chat on the island, and the plan fell together.
For 20 years Angus worked the same route, 7 Nanaimo/Dunbar, a trolley route that crosses the city from one side to the other, passing through the Downtown Eastside, the city’s most dramatic neighbourhood and the poorest urban postal code in Canada. This was Angus’s preferred work; he could have chosen any bus route in the system.
Angus is also a driving force, no pun intended, behind TRAMS, the Transit Museum Society (http://www.trams.bc.ca/), which preserves examples of Vancouver’s transit vehicles. For his last trip, Angus brought two of the vintage Brill trolleys out of storage. Accompanied by colleagues, regular passengers from over the years and many other well-wishers, he drove his regular route on Monday evening
When the buses arrived at Nanaimo SkyTrain station, the Carnival Band (http://www.openairorchestra.com/openairorchestra/) was there to welcome Angus and his entourage. Angus says he suspected “something was brewing” but had no idea the band would be there.
It was our pleasure to entertain and help honour a bus driver who has become such a fixture and well-respected member of our city
Angus has been diligent about archiving both his time as a driver and the history of Vancouver’s bus system. He can relate many colourful anecdotes from his 41 years behind the wheel.
Enjoy many, many happy years of retirement, Angus!
41 photos from event at http://www.flickr.com/photos/35698624@N07/sets/72157624055517565/
Food at HONK!Fest West
Anita Berman of Ideal Feast planned the food, did most of the shopping, organized the kitchen staff and supervised the food preparation at the last two Honk!Fest Wests in Seattle—all for the pleasure of providing tasty and healthful meals to the participating musicians. At Anita’s informative—and idiosyncratic—Web site (http://www.idealfeast.com/), you can sign up for her newsletter, too. The latest rhapsodizes about seaweed and cider.
More food shout-outs:
- Kayla Rakes, HFW committee member, for—in addition to all her other committee work—backing up Anita during several long days of food prep
- Hidmo Restaurant (http://www.hidmo.org/) for donating commercial kitchen space and being a major cultural asset in the Central Area
- the Giddens School (http://www.giddensschool.org/) for donating commercial kitchen space
- the Raging Grannies (http://www.seattleraginggrannies.com/) for lunchtime entertainment at Hidmo
- all the HFW volunteers who staffed the prep line, served and cleaned up.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~