Mundubbera's unsung hero and lollipop man John Ogden Picture: Sam Turner
Mundubbera's unsung hero and lollipop man John Ogden Picture: Sam Turner

UNSUNG HEROES: Mundubbera lollipop man’s love for his town

FROM 2.15pm onwards at Mundubbera State School P-10, you'll often find lollipop man John Ogden volunteering his time to help students cross the road.

What you may not know is what a typical behind-the-scenes day might look for the former navy man.

For Mr Ogden, his time is shared between his community responsibilities, and helping his terminally-ill wife Dawn.

He'll wake up in the morning, make breakfast for Dawn, do a bit of housework, head out to the Men's shed, back to check up on Dawn, down to Meals on Wheels, back home, and then out to do lollipop crossing work, a position he's held for more than five years.

While juggling these commitments, he volunteers his time with the local RSL, and has previously been involved with the Lions community group before his wife's illness.

Mundubbera's unsung hero and lollipop man John Ogden Picture: Sam Turner
Mundubbera's unsung hero and lollipop man John Ogden Picture: Sam Turner

He believes the praise he's recently received on social media is unwarranted, as he's just helping out the town that has been so kind to him and his wife.

"Everybody is so friendly here, we always have visitors coming over to bring food for me and Dawn," he said.

"All the ladies are always asking how we're doing, how Dawn is, dropping by to visit.

"It's just the type of town we live in."

Originally born in Maryborough, Mr Ogden spent six years in the navy before working in Sydney, then in New Guinea for eight years.

After his escapades in the Torres Strait, he came back to work in Gatton, then moved to Mundubbera to work at the CSIRO for 22 years, then a piggery after that for a decade.

His years employed at the piggery were the end of his working career, claiming the animals had caused him to get two replacement knees and a hernia.

Mundubbera's unsung hero and lollipop man John Ogden Picture: Sam Turner
Mundubbera's unsung hero and lollipop man John Ogden Picture: Sam Turner

 

"I had to retire after that because I got a hernia from the pigs throwing me up in the air," Mr Ogden said.

"They're bloody wild because they just go straight for ya.

"They don't stop for nothing."

Even with his busy schedule, Mr Ogden and his wife still find time to wander down Lyons St to run some errands.

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"Sometimes I'll be with Dawn taking her down the street, and everyone will come up and ask how she's going, yak yak, and then a ten minute job will take about two hours," he said jokingly.

"Very friendly town, I don't think I'll ever leave, except in a pine box."

The North Burnett is home to hundreds of unsung heroes, and we're on the lookout for those working behind the scenes to help their community.

If you know another unsung hero, please reach out at sam.turner@cnbtimes.com.au.