Photo & story Jeff Dawson
Pete Watson has just been awarded NRMA Road Service Patrol Person of the Year for the northern region.
Tony Carsburg was also recognised for having the Mullum NRMA service centre for 42 years.
Pete was born at the Mullum Hospital, back when it was on Stuart Street. He grew up living on Ann Street, married Helen Rixon from across the street and, ever since, they’ve lived nearly all their lives on Ann Street.
After finishing school, Pete took up an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic at Carsburg Motors and 40 years ago became Mullum’s NRMA guy.
While Pete has many stories from the roadside, here’s one: After towing a broken-down car with four teenagers from the old highway at about 2am early one morning, he rang each of their parents to advise them of what happened so they could pick them up.
‘None of the parents would get out of bed to come and rescue their kids from Ballina.
Pete’s wife Helen got herself up and drove them home.
Pete says, ‘The jobs I get called out on are often in the middle of the night in the worst weather. While that’s hard on me, it’s pretty rough on my wife Helen too.’
It’s just one example that shows the kind of empathy that has won Pete and Helen much respect and thanks from the community.