WHEN Mick Watts retires this month after 58 years with the Public Transport Authority he will miss the customers and his staff the most.
“I love working with the customers and the staff – looking after them, having a laugh, a bit of a chat, you know they keep me busy,’’ he said.
Mr Watts started in the Midland Workshops as an apprentice transportation and infrastructure machinist in 1965 and had a number roles there including turner, machine-shop assistant foreman and scheduler until the workshops closed in 1994.
Then he moved to the passenger facing side of the business as a passenger service officer until 2000 when he became a passenger service manager – a position he has held for the past 23 years – and he will now retire as the longest-serving employee at the PTA.
For 19 years he was a member of an emergency rescue unit, which used to do the Avon Descent every year.
“We put our names forward and did that as part of the Westrail emergency rescue unit.
“There were 20 of us who belonged to it – we were all employed in the workshops.’’
For the Avon Descent they were broken up into teams – with teams at the start, Katrine, Extracts and Syds Rapid.
He was never tempted to enter the event but he did canoe with Steve Pilton who used to belong to the Ascot Kayak Club.
The Meyer boys, including Cameron Meyer’s father Ken used to meet him in Koongamia and they would ride to work together.
After the Avon Descent at Rally Australia events they did things like road closures.
Mr Watts now does the stop control and his wife Diana has also gotten involved.
“I actually take the driver’s card off him and put his times on and do times for him.’’
The past weekend he spent time as an official during the Tarmac West event in Ellenbrook where Alex Rullo “pranged out” and then on Sunday at Malaga looked after Rullo’s car for him where he said the rally driver did alright.
When he retires the couple, who have been married for more than 50 years, will get to do more travelling.
His wife wants to go to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August next year in Scotland and they want go back and do a trip around New Zealand and probably Tasmania again and around Australia.
They also want to go to Canada and Alaska again where they went before Covid hit.
He loves boats and has sailed before the America’s Cup and has competed in in the Little Wheel for the government.