MONDAY’S PEOPLE: Brakes on after 42 years teaching

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HAPPY MEMORIES: Lucy Cavallin will dearly miss teaching the community how to drive throughout her incredible career spanning decades. PHOTO: Nick Sinis.

AFTER four decades of teaching generations how to drive, the Glenora Driving School has put its foot on the brakes.

“Everything must come to an end,” said Lucy Cavallin, who has run the business with her brother Angelo for 42 years.

She said she couldn’t be happier with what the duo achieved and will miss teaching generations of drivers throughout Wangaratta.

Lucy and her family emigrated from Italy and came to Melbourne where they lived in Footscray in the 1950s.

“I was seven and a half when I arrived in Australia…we were from Treviso, a country town about 40km from Venice,” she said.

“We moved to Myrtleford and my parents bought a tobacco farm in King Valley.”

It was due to time spent helping migrant workers and their families get around that Lucy began her driving school.

“That’s where it all started,” she said.

“The tobacco farm had share-farmers, most were migrants and the women couldn’t drive, they kept asking me to take them shopping or to go to the doctors.

“I decided to teach them how to drive, did that on the farm very slowly up and down the track there.”

Lucy said it wasn’t until meeting a kind-hearted police officer from the Whitfield station that she would officially get her business up and running.

“He was the one that got all the people I needed to get in touch with, he phoned Melbourne and found a driving instructor to help me get my licence to teach,” she said.

“In 1977 I got my driving instructor’s licence, bought a car, and had it all set up with dual controls.”

Lucy said she loved teaching people from all backgrounds and ages throughout Wangaratta, and too particularly great pride in building up the confidence of students who struggled in the beginning.

“The ones that started off not knowing anything and seeing them progress, getting their confidence and getting their licence that was the best part of it all,” she said.

After countless driving hours and teaching thousands of students, Lucy said that she will miss getting to know all the generations of families the most.

“Getting to know different people, we found that we taught the grandparents, the parents, their grandchildren, over 42 years we did three generations,” she said.

Her final piece of advice to drivers out there is to “obey the rules, especially the speed one”.

This post is part of the thread: Monday’s People – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

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