Bonzo reaches 40 years of service

RETIRED: Joseph 'Bonzo' Jaars (60) has completed 40 years of service, having started at the age of 20 at the Alberton Town Council. He is now retiring from the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

JOSEPH JAARS (60), well-known as Bonzo to the Eden Park community, is officially a pensioner.

Bonzo worked as a rubbish collector for 40 years. He started working for the Alberton town council in 1976 and retired as employee of the Ekurhuleni metro.

With his boyish smile, Bonzo told the RECORD: “I was born on August 27, 1956. I started to work at the age of 20 and now suddenly I am a pensioner. However, I still feel I could be working more years, because I enjoyed my work.

“For 40 years I have never taken a day off or any sick leave.”

This was confirmed by his sister, Maureen Jaars, who said: “He was dedicated to his work. Sometimes he would work on a Sunday or on a public holiday. To him, cleaning the streets was a seven-day job.”

“I was 20 years old when I started working for the Alberton town council and way back then rubbish was still collected in black plastic bags. I still remember working with the late Oom Bobbie, Jan Harris, Oom Sans, Oom Jan Derms and Mervin the truck driver, who is still alive. I was earning R160 per month, which seemed like a lot at that time,” said Bonzo with a laugh.

“Bonzo is a funny character who we must now keep an eye on, because he still just goes and picks up rubbish in the streets,” said Maureen.

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  AUTHOR
Saul Thloloe

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