City celebrates Maurice Powell, a Hamilton transit operator for 50 years

The city of Hamilton recognized Maurice Powell for his 50 years of service as an operator with the HSR on Monday. Lisa Polewski / Global News

A bus driver from the HSR is celebrating a rare milestone — 50 years as an operator.

On Monday the city recognized Maurice Powell on his 50th Anniversary with the HSR at a ceremony at the mountain station. The achievement makes him the first transit operator, and only the second employee in the history of the City of Hamilton, to reach the 50-year milestone.

“On behalf of the entire staff and management team, thank you Maurice, for your steadfast dedication, commitment and love of your job. We are truly grateful you have chosen to spend your career with us at the HSR,” said Director of Transit Debbie Dalle Vedove in a statement from the city.

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Powell is the first transit operator and only second employee in the history of the city of Hamilton to reach the 50-year milestone

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While congratulating Powell’s anniversary, Councillor Arlene VanderBeek. put into perspective just how long ago 1969 was, revealing that bus fare for an adult on the HSR was just 30 cents for adults and 10 cents for children.

She also said Victor Copps was the mayor of Hamilton, the Art Gallery had just commissioned an architect to design its new building, and Eugene Levy and Martin Short graduated from McMaster University.

VanderBeek also said ‘Morris’ has been driving the Route Number 27 Upper James bus for “as long as HSR has records of every day Monday to Friday.”

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“On behalf of my father, I just want to say thank you. He’s enjoyed his work immensely; as you see, he’s been here for 50 years,” said daughter Judith during his tribute at City Hall on Friday.

“And I think he wants to stay another 50 years. But he’s enjoyed it. He’s really happy where he is.”

Mohawk College has announced a $500 bursary in Powell’s name made possible by partner Trapeze Group North America.

For the next five years, a bursary of $500 per year will be awarded to a student enrolling in the Civil Engineering Technology.

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Powell was also congratulated in video posted by Arkells frontman Max Kerman. He referred to the long-serving driver as the ‘people’s champ’ and showed the tour jacket the band will be giving Powell.

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