Sunday July 12, 2020

July 9, 2020

9 juillet 2020



SATURDAY BREAKFASTS AT THE ORLEANS LEGION have been canceled until further notice under the nation wide state of emergency to combat the spread of COVID-19.

THE OTTAWA SCHOOL OF THEATRE has postponed its 30th birthday celebration, originally scheduled for April 4 to a later date.

THE BYTOWN BEAT CHORUS has canceled it’s planned Open House scheduled to take place on March 23.

MIFO has canceled the following productions: “Les Fabulateurs - La légende de Barbe d’Or” scheduled for March 19; “Flip Fabrique - Blizzard” scheduled for March 28; and “Laurent Paquin et Simon Boudreault - On va tous mourir” scheduled for April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

THE ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, OPERA FOR CHILDREN’ scheduled to take place at the Shenkman Arts Centre on March 28 has been postponed.


VIEWPOINT: Driving a school bus can be incredibly rewarding
By Fred Sherwin
Aug. 22
, 2019

Before I purchased the Orléans Star from TC Media in November, 2016 I had to work an assortment of jobs to make sure the rent was paid. One of the those jobs was a school bus driver. In fact, I drove my last route on the day the purchase was made official.

Looking back, it was one of the most rewarding jobs I've ever had. It was also one of the most important jobs I've ever had.

Being a school bus driver comes with an enormous amount of responsibility. From the moment the kids get on your bus to the moment they get off and are safely on their way home, you are solely responsible for their well-being. Being a school bus driver is not for the faint of heart, but is a fun and rewarding job for anyone looking for some extra income.

I was fortunate enough to work for M.L. Bradley Ltd. The family-owned independent bus company located near Navan. It was launched by Lorne Bradley back in 1965 � or at least semi-launched.

Lorne successfully bid to operate two routes in the former Cumberland Township, but he had neither drivers or buses. He did have a good friend, however, in Ed Inglis who was the owner of Capital Coach Lines which would eventually become Laidlaw.

Inglis sold Bradley two buses and together with his father Morris and family friend Ted Dashney, who shared the driving duties, Lorne launched M.L. Bradley.

The company would purchase four more buses in 1975 and in 1986 the school board asked him to take on eight more routes which required eight more buses and eight more drivers.

The next day, a sign was posted in what is now J.T. Bradley's Convenience Store. It read "Drivers wanted. Will train.�

More than a dozen people answered the ad, most of them local residents. In fact some of those people are still driving for Bradley's 33 years later. The reason is simple � M.L. Bradley is one of the best companies you could ever work for.

Today it is owned by Lorne's daughter Kathleen and her husband Gord Both, but the day-to-day operations are left in the hands of their son � and Lorne Bradley's grandson Andrew Both.

I mention all this because M.L. Bradley is once again in need of drivers. Being a school bus driver is not as difficult as it seems, but its not an easy job either. It requires the ability to be constantly aware of your surroundings, a firm knowledge of the rules of the road, an empathy for and understanding of children of all ages and the willingness to take on the immense responsibility for their safety and security.

It also requires a willingness to do all of the above forbarely more than the minimum wage Now I know what you're thinking... to put up with Ottawa drivers, the odd unruly child and the responsibility that comes with transporting kids to and from schoo for barely more than the minimum wage is peanuts..

But before you get your shorts in a knot over remuneration, understand that the rate is set by the province which provides the school boards with the funding for school buses.

And while it would be nice to make more money for driving a school bus, it is what it is and that's what the job pays.

On the plus side, M.L. Bradley still trains all of its school bus drivers free of charge. All you need is a valid driver's license. You will also need to take the St. John Ambulance First Aid and CPR course.

The training sessions takes just two weeks to complete, at the end of which you are tested. Pass the test and you receive your license.

Although a school bus driver's schedule depends on which route they are assigned, most mornings start at 7 a.m. and end at 9:30 a.m. The afternoon shift usually starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m.

As for the job satisfaction, being a school bus driver is one of those jobs in which you get out of it whatever you put into it. You can make it as personal or impersonal as you want.

My aspect of the job was getting to know the kids. I had two routes. The first route involved driving high school students from Cumberland and Navan to Canterbury High School. The second route involved driving elementary school students from Kindergarten to Grade 4 to and from their school.

I made it a personal mission to get to know every student by name. For one thing it made it a lot easier to get them to do what I asked, and for another, it made the job a great deal more rewarding.

If driving a school bus is something you might be interested in doing then you should call M.L. Bradley at 613- 835-2488 or drop them an e-mail to I promise, you won't regret it.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at




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