Every Monday morning, Joe Kipp would walk over to the Wentworth Street offices of the Hamilton Street Railway “looking for an opening as an operator”. It was the mid-1970s and Joe was in his mid-20s.
At the time, the HSR would only hire men older than 25 years of age and they had to be married. “That’s just the way things were then”, Joe says.
It took months of showing up before he was hired, even with “two references who did me well”. His references were Norm Keopke, a senior HSR operator, and a Hamilton Police Sergeant.
Joe started training on June 17, 1978.
After nearly 40 years behind the wheel of a HSR bus, Joe retires tomorrow at 11:57 a.m.