Cuppa and chat with Ken the perfect break
Driver reviver: Travellers get boost for journey after Monto stop
ON MORE than one occasion Ken Gleadhill has served coffee to a long lost relative.
The Monto man has been volunteering at driver revivers for more than 20 years and has found it’s a great way to meet family members as well as the travelling public.
“I always feel good after meeting people I’ve never met before. That’s the best thing about driver reviver,” he said.
“I’ve even met relatives I’ve never met before.
“Once I met a woman from Germany and she put her name down in the book we have. I looked at it and said ‘You wouldn’t happen to know ErnieWagner would you?’. She said ‘He’s my uncle’.
“I couldn’t believe it and told her ‘He’s my uncle too’.”
On another occasion Mr Gleadhill and his partner on the Monto driver reviver stand, Trevor Pincott, even met a person they were both distantly related to.
“It was just amazing. She knew all my family and hadn’t met me before and knew all of Trevor’s family as well but hadn’t met him before,” Mr Gleadhill said.
Mr Gleadhill has been reviving drivers with coffee, tea, biscuits and his trademark tricks for more than 20 years now.
“I’ve learnt the tricks over all my life,” he said.
“I see other people do them and then I keep at it and learn how to make them myself.
“Laughter is the best medicine.”
He said as well as eliciting many laughs the jokes served another important purpose: to hold drivers up for as long as possible.
“That’s the purpose, because the longer we hold them up for, the more revived they get,” Mr Gleadhill said.
“We know we’ve done a good job when they walk back to the car and don’t have the wobbles anymore.”
He said he always remembered one woman who hopped out of her car and asked for two cups of coffee.
“I thought ‘this is a bit strange’, they don’t usually ask for two,” he said.
“So I told her, you go on back there and have a rest on that mattress. You’ll be safe here, we’ll look after you.
“Within 10 seconds she was asleep.
“She slept for an hour and told me she’d driven from Townsville all the way to Rockhampton for fuel then straight to Monto with only that one break.
“She called me later that night from her home in Jandowae and thanked us for saving her life.”
Another time Mr Gleadhill said he warned a passing traveller to “look out for the bloody wallopers” as the police were out in force.
“Then he said ‘Well that’s good’ and he pulled out his belt buckle to show he was a bloody walloper too.”
While Mr Gleadhill said he served coffee to many premiers over the years, he still hoped the Prime Minister would stop in to Monto’s driver reviver for a cuppa one day.
“Well why not? I think more of the government should get out here and see what we do,” he said.
GOOD TIMES: Trevor Pincott and Ken Gleadhill had a ball working Monto's driver reviver Monday afternoon.