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PEEPS AT BAC: Our Support Services manager turns 21

Category: Peeps at BAC

Submitted by on Wed 29/03/17 10:24

On January 24 this year, Support Services Manager Tony Whyatt turned 21 in BAC years. While he’s a little older than that, you could still say that it’s been something of a coming of age. 
When Tony started out in 1996, it was as a casual bus driver. He brought three of his four children with him. They were following in their mother Suzanne Godfrey’s footsteps, one of the youngest pupils to start at Brisbane Adventist Primary School the year it opened.
Tony has filled many and varied jobs over the years, including managing the college’s information technology, serving as P&F president, grappling with sales execs over the price of photocopiers, managing budgets, and writing grant applications. However, he’s always had a soft spot for the buses. 
In a nostalgic moment that made him think of the early days, he recently oversaw the sale of two of the College’s oldest buses. They were bought for the school the year he started working at BAC. Built well before the time of seat belts and airconditioning, they’d been in semi-retirement for awhile, only used on local routes. “It made me a bit sad to see them go,” he says. “They’d done 500,000 kilometres and I reckon I might have too! My body is starting to feel like it has.”
The aches and pains don’t hold him up, though. As our highly valued Support Services Manager, he takes the ‘support’ and ‘service’ part of his role literally. Any day of the week, you might find him locksmithing, changing a light bulb, reorganising a bus route to incorporate a new student, or building something to make the job of teachers and staff a bit easier.
Mrs Entermann values Tony’s work ethic, ministry focus and love for serving God. “Over the last Christmas holidays, we were short one cleaner,” she says. “It was extremely hot but next thing Tony was out there and didn’t stop. He sees an issue, steps in and fixes it. Nothing is too much or too little.”
When asked about his most memorable experiences, Tony recalls the time he was asked to present Citizenship awards to two students who started in Kindergarten the year he began working at the College. “It was very meaningful to give these awards to Sarah Cosier [Rutkowski] and Kayla Hopkins.” 
Then there was the time he was called in as unofficial snake handler. Early one morning, he received a somewhat frantic call from a former principal to say that he had cornered a snake in the Student Centre. Could Tony please get here and help him remove it? “It ended up only being a little tree snake, but a snake’s a snake and we weren’t going to leave it there!” says Tony.
Successfully herding it through the front doors, the two men expected it to make for the bush but were horrified to see it slither up the nearest car tyre and disappear into the engine bay. “It was the principal’s car! I had to get under it and find out where the thing had hidden itself. The next question was, how do I get the snake out without having to handle it?” The high pressure hose was the answer and the snake soon found a more appropriate place to call home.
Tony still occasionally gets to drive students to and from excursions and camps. He recently took a busload of very excited eleven year olds to and from Mapleton for their Year 6 camp in our newest bus. Loving being back behind the wheel, he says: “Sometimes I feel that my days at BAC are coming to an end and I ask God for a sign, but He keeps on telling me: ‘Keep going! I’m not finished with you yet!’ That’s fine by me. I work here to support the teachers and help create a happy learning environment. One day, when I meet Jesus face to face, He might just say: ‘Well done, Anthony Whyatt! There are children in the kingdom because of the little things you did.’”
Thanks, Tony, for your years of dedicated service to our community.

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