After 48 years and almost 800 days in the drivers seat, Joan Jeffery has parked the Hermidale school bus one last time.
Last Thursday, students, staff and community members gathered at the Hermidale Public School to pay tribute to Mrs Jeffery's dedication and commitment to driving the school bus over the years.
Rod Dewhurst, Brad Jeffery and Katie Mudford spoke on behalf of past and present staff and community members about their "bus experiences" and memories of Mrs Jeffery.
"For every story we know about Joan, she's got almost 20 about us and I'm sure she can remember them all," Mr Dewhurst joked.
Mrs Jeffery began driving the school bus in September 1970, when her eldest son Brad was only 18-months-old. All three told stories and shared memories of Mrs Jeffery from hitting the two gutters on Kallara road at full speed to turning up the radio to catch the secret sound on 2WEB.
"Everyone has an experience of Joan stopping so that they could get off and chase a goat," Mr Dewhurst said.
"Being the bus driver is not just two trips a day in Hermidale.
"Many times I asked Leone what was happening tomorrow and the answer was they're going to Girilambone or Marra Creek or Nyngan or some other place for an experience that had been organised for the kids, and Joan was taking the bus."
"This is above and beyond anyone's call and if there was a spare seat she would give them a lift home."
"Thank you for getting our kids to and from school and putting up with the squabbles and parent politics ... but thank you for looking after them and making sure they were safe."
Mr Jeffery and Mrs Mudford also worked out in 48 years, that adds up to 1400 school days and 28,000 bus trips, not including all the school trips and excursions.
"48 years is a long time to spend doing the school bus, and it's been such a big part of her life," Mr Jeffery said.
"In small communities like Hermidale, people matter and when they're lucky enough to have dedicated and hard working people like Joan the effects are far reaching and long lasting," Mrs Mudford also said.
Mrs Jeffery thanked the school for the morning tea, and said the community would continue to see her around, maybe even driving the bus occasionally.
"For 48 years I did something I have loved, I didn't want to go, there's always been a smiling face, there was always a child smiling.
"Thank you very very much."
"You may see me still in the bus occasionally, just tell me I'm too old if you see me."
While Mrs Jeffery has hung up her keys, the run will continue with her son Paul, or PJ as he is known, taking over the steering wheel.