Fifty years after their last outing, Buslink NT urban driver Andrew Baxter is bringing back his mutton chops – but this time for a good cause!
The man who already sports a mo’ was inspired to bring back the 1970s retro look to support Movember, an annual event which raises awareness of men’s health issues like prostate and testicular cancer and men’s suicide.
“I was completing my run at Casuarina, and as normal you bid (the passengers) all goodbye and the bus empties. On this occasion, one guy hung back, and we struck up a conversation – more so him talking, me listening,” Andrew said.
“It so happens, he was going through treatment for prostate cancer and clearly wanted to share his personal journey… and someone to listen to that.
“I listened and shared some of my experiences living with someone who’d gone through similar with breast cancer, we shared a few jokes and he then got off.”
It was this conversation that inspired Andrew to take his first jump into fundraising.
“This is for that ‘stranger but friend for five minutes’, all the other men and all the women each going through their own journey, many times in silence, looking for someone to just ‘lighten their load’,” he said.
“Only you know how tough it is daily, but I will listen, I will support you.
“It really hit home for me that you never know what people are going through.
“My first wife died of breast cancer, so I’ve been personally involved with someone who has gone through that journey. The reality is that although you can support them, you never know how it affects them day in and day out and that’s why I’m doing this.”
It’s a bit hard to know how he’s feeling about his new look just yet – and he said the jury’s still out on his wife’s thoughts – but he said he was looking forward to how he’ll look at the end of the month.
“I think it’ll look better with time,” he said.
“Who knows, if I like it, they might stay, or someone might donate some funds for me to shave it off at the end.”
Andrew has been driving with Buslink for a year-and-a-half, after previously driving on the Sunshine Coast and working professionally as a qualified engineer and in work health and safety.
“I’m not a spring chicken and I’m at the end of my career after 25 years in WHS and engineering, but I love being a bus driver,” he said.
“I love driving for starters and I like interacting with people,” he said.
Andrew has pledged to raise a dollar a day for the month of November and is encouraging others to get involved in any way they can – whether it be fundraising themselves or donating to show their support.
Keep your eyes peeled to see how Andrew’s mutton chops turn out!
Andrew has joined the CDC Regional Australia Division Movember fundraising team who are taking part in a national employee fundraising effort during November.
Part of ComfortDelGro Australia (CDC), Buslink NT is the largest urban, school, and charter bus operator in the Northern Territory.