By ROBYN BRISTOW
Cheviot will be etched in Meg Gordon’s mind forever after she was left stranded in the small community when her Picton-bound bus left without her.
Meg thought she had plenty of time for a cuppa when the Intercity bus stopped for a quick break for passengers. But when she turned around the bus had gone.
“I am an elderly, sometimes confused lady. I did not have a watch and thought I had a bit more time,” she says.
Kate Cave, who was in the Cheviot Tearooms where her best friend works, was having her regular morning coffee with a friend after finishing the school bus run.
She saw Meg’s plight and offered to chase the bus.
“I just lived around the corner so went home and got my car,” Kate says.
With Meg and her friend on board, they headed north.
“Meg was a bit upset at first, but I told her to jump in and off we went.
“We thought we weren’t that far behind the bus, but it turned out we were,” says Kate who kept on driving, ending up in Kaikoura, where they caught up with the bus.
Meg says she cannot believe such kindness exists.
“I cannot believe that they went all that way to help me on my way.
“It was only after the shock had worn off that I felt my thanks was so inadequate and feel that if that is an example of the people of Cheviot, I wish I lived there.
“(They are) lovely, lovely people and would love it if you could thank them for me through your paper,” Meg says.
She says she would not have made it to her Picton destination if it had not been for the help “given so freely”.
“I will always remember them,” she says.
Kate says she hopes that someone would do the same for her if she was in the same situation.
She tried to contact Intercity, but with no success, so just keep driving the 60 or so kilometres.
“It was fun. It was a lovely, perfect day for a drive,” says Kate, who was back in plenty of time to get behind the wheel of the school bus to deliver students home after school.
School bus driving is just one of the jobs she does in the town. She is an ambulance officer and the divisional manager for the Cheviot St John Youth.
She has just taken up the job of Cheviot A&P secretary and also does some work at the Cheviot Area School.
“I am the crazy one who says yes, when everyone else says no,” Kate says.