Wollongong Loses over 200 years of experience in one send off
On Saturday the 18th of December 2021 we saw the end of a wealth of experience with 5 senior RTBU Locomotive Division drivers retiring from Wollongong Depot. Many retired and current drivers as well as family and friends turned out at Wollongong to show their support and respect for these five much respected drivers for their hard work and dedication over a vast number of years.
Dimitrius (Jim) Savopolous (44 Years)
Richard (Rick) Montgomery (43 Years)
Victor Thickness (43 Years)
Gary Burns (33 Years)
Paul Burkhill (31 Years)
The five drivers were presented with plaques on behalf of the RTBU Locomotive Division by Life Member John Aquilina and former delegate from Wollongong for their tireless support over the years to the locomotive division and for their dedication. These five drivers have seen a lot of change over the years and have fought hard for the rights and conditions we all enjoy today as well as safety for the next generation of drivers.
Speeches and gifts were presented to the drivers and their wives followed by light refreshments. Number 1 Driver at Wollongong Jim Savopolous spoke on behalf of the drivers and stated, “we have supported the Locomotive Division from day one and it is even more imperative that members stick together especially in these hard times and support the union. Without the support of the members all the hard-fought awards and conditions which we have fought for over the years and now enjoy will be lost and stripped by current Tory Governments.”
After the presentation everyone adjourned to the Illawarra Leagues Club where many beers were consumed, and even larger stories were told until late in the night.