School farewells favourite lollipop lady

Every schoolday morning for the past 26 years, Beryl Onions has donned her bright yellow safety vest, picked up her stop sign and headed to the crossing at Balarang Public School.

With a smile and a cheery "good morning, sunshine", she has made sure hundreds of students arrived at school safely.

She's a figure who has crossed generations, with children she once guided across the road now grown up and bringing their own kids to school each day.

But next Friday the beloved lollipop lady will hang up her wide-brimmed hat and begin to enjoy her retirement.

"I'm one of these people that get up early and do my work, so I think I will miss it," Mrs Onions, 62, said.

She wasn't looking for a job when she and her family arrived in Australia from England 31 years ago. Her stint as a school crossing supervisor was only meant to last six weeks, but a love of chatting to students and their parents kept her in the job for more than two decades.

"It's the lovely kids - the kids are fantastic. They keep you young," she said.

"They come to school and if you can say 'hi', 'bye', 'have a good day' and they go to school and they're happy, then that's good," Mrs Onions said.

"Past and present students, it's really been a pleasure to cross them."

Mrs Onions said there had not been too many frustrated motorists in her time, but even when she could tell a driver was a bit grumpy, she still smiled and gave a wave.

Although her last day isn't until next week, small gifts and appreciative cards have already started rolling in from pupils, parents and teachers.

Mrs Onions said she would spend her retirement travelling with her husband, and helping to look after her grandson.

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