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The Wheels of Perth City

I am confident that the good folk over at The Worst of Perth will have looked into this, but I couldn't find a mention of this over there. Not that I searched for more than a couple of minutes; their site is dense with Perthcentric gold. Have a look some time.

Anyhow, when I was a kid, Transperth–then the Metropolitan Transport Trust–ran a campaign encouraging Perthites to take the bus. There was a jaunty tune which sadly I cannot reproduce here and a sprightly lyric which went something like this:

We are the wheels of Perth City
Leave the driving to us
We are the Wheels of Perth
(Take it easy)
Come on and take the bus!

There was even a mascot for all of this, an actual MTT bus driver nicknamed "Jimmy". This is something like thirty years ago, but my memory has him as John Denver looking fellow. And if you don't know who the late John Denver was - ask your grandfather.

I believe Jimmy's brief was to be friendly; being a child at this time, I found the notion of a friendly bus driver fairly unlikely, but the people of Perth took to the whole thing like high school kids to the back section of a bendy bus.

Jimmy was a Perthonality for a time. He wasn't Luigi Savadamoni big, but he had his fifteen minutes. And if you weren't around for that, then you've missed out. These days we have the The Lottery West "catching a falling star" kid, but he simply doesn't have the charisma of a middle-aged man in green shorts and walk socks giving the people of Perth a cheery thumbs up.

Phil Jeng Kane


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