House debates

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Constituency Statements

Watsons Buses, McFadden, Mr Darcy

10:09 am

Photo of Kevin HoganKevin Hogan (Page, National Party, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I would like to recognise J Watson & Son, a local bus line from Woodenbong. Watsons buses have been in the Watson family and in our community for over 72 years. In 1948 Joe and Minni Watson bought the local bus run. At the time the business had four buses and was run by his Joe, his son Les and Les's wife, Marj. Les used to say that he took pride in his business in providing the community with the very best of service.

The Watsons also started Watsons Earthmoving in 1952. Les and Marj had three children—Max, Bruce and Rodney. In 2005 Max and Bruce took over both family businesses with the help of their wives, Judith and Gail. Rodney also worked for his father for 10 years until he took over Woodenbong Driveway, which he still runs with his wife, Kim.

In all their time they never had any accidents. They would treat the children on the school bus as if they were their own grandchildren. Les was a great family man, fair and hardworking. He was a great believer in Woodenbong. Whenever there was something needed, he tried to do it. He, sadly, passed away in 2013.

After 72 years, the Watsons have sold their business to two new families. Mathew, Shannon, Nik and Sharon take over on 2 November and will keep the name Watsons buses. Congratulations to the Watson family. Thank you for your service and care for our community.

I'd like to recognise Darcy McFadden, who, sadly, passed away recently. We often speak about people who give back to our communities, but Darcy took this to another level. Darcy was born in Coraki and grew up with his 10 brothers and sisters in Woodburn. When Darcy was 16 he got a job with The Northern Star newspaper as an apprentice within the photography department. Some memorable photographic events for Darcy were Queen Elizabeth's visit to Lismore in 1954 and photographing the world-renowned pianist Winifred Atwell when she played at the Lismore City Hall. He also captured some devastating events, such as the Cowper and Clybucca bus crashes, major fires and the major floods in 1954 and 1974. He retired after 52 years at The Northern Star.

He was also an integral part of many community clubs, such as the Lismore Lions Club for 48 years. He was the recipient of over 18 awards, including the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, the James D Richardson Honour Award and the Graham Pearce Award. He was also a member of the Lismore Apex Club for 62 years.

Karen and I extend our thoughts to his wife, Teresa; his children and their partners, Mark, Julie, Leanne, Peter, Craig, Tracy, Jason and Tracey; his grandchildren, Rian, Jared, Ciobahn, Hannah, Zack, Ethan, Maddison and Alec; and his greatgrandchildren, Boston, Winter and Maverick. Rest in peace, Darcy, and thank you for your dedication and commitment to our community.