Elisabeth Hoare is celebrating 35 years as a crossing guard this week and has received a bundle of accolades, in the form of delightful cards with messages of thanks, from young admirers at Illawarra Primary School.
Affectionately known as Lollipop Liz by the children, parents and grandparents she safely marshals across streets, the septuagenarian is busier than ever.
The Kingborough Chronicle was invited to visit Liz, on duty, at her double-crossing post outside Illawarra Primary School, on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 9.
With stop sign in hand, Liz was cheerily directing the pedestrians, whilst braving the chilly wet weather, dressed head-to-toe in bright orange.
Smiles and friendly greetings were echanged with locals, as they passed by with their school bags, prams and umbrellas.
Liz noted the view wasn’t a good as usual, given the inclement weather.
“This is one of the most scenic places to work,” noted Liz.
“I love the view and Sherbud Park is an ideal place for parents to park and walk children to school.
“Traffic is generally good and parents and kids are a joy to work with.
“Instead of retiring, I am now busier than ever having inherited a double crossing and a lot more children.
“I am flat out and don’t need to go to the gym.”
Liz remarked she’s spent half her life working as a School Crossing Patrol Officer.
“For 28 years I was the crossing guard on the Midlands Highway, Brighton, dodging b-doubles before and after the Brighton bypass,” noted Liz.
“Then I did a sea change and have done seven years for Illawarra Primary School since May 2014.
“I know all the children I cross, their names, names of siblings, parents, grandparents and their dogs.
“Some of the children choose to do my job for Educational Support Personal Week.
“They presented me with the cards they made, I was honoured.”
Liz has worked long enough to see school children become parents of their own.
“Some of the children I have crossed here are in high school, college or working now,” remarked Liz.
“I even run into children I used to cross at Brighton who now are mothers and have children of their own.
“Funnily enough, I even discovered I went to school with one of your famous residents, Edna Pennicott.”
Liz commented on some challenges associated with the job.
“We work in all weather conditions,” noted Liz.
“Wind is tricky, trying to keep flags in poles.
“The busiest day I have ever experienced was when a school bus broke down on my crossing afternoon shift.
“I became the sole person to organise traffic to and from school, traffic out of Illawarra Road and, at the same time, cross the children safely over two roads.
“I was exhausted.”
The unstoppable, Lollipop Liz, is not showing signs of stopping any time soon.
“I had to take three months off in 2020 because of COVID-19, as I was just in the vulnerable age,” recalled Liz.
“I was glad to get back to work.
“I only work four days a week now as I have Thursdays off to play pennant bowls.
“I have been asked how much longer am I going to do it.
“My answer is I take it one day at a time.”
Pictured above: The unstoppable Elisabeth Hoare, AKA Lollipop Liz, is celebrating 35 years as a crossing guard this week and is not showing signs of stopping any time soon.