Cabbie puts brakes on fond journey

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Harvey Taxi owner Ian Munro will drive his last fare next month.
Camera IconHarvey Taxi owner Ian Munro will drive his last fare next month. Credit: Picture: Jacinta Cantatore

He’s the man you call after a big night out, he can drive you to and from medical appointments, and he might even get paid with sausage sometimes.

But on June 25, Harvey Taxi owner Ian Munro will hang up the keys for the final time.

This staple of the Harvey community will retire on June 26, in time for his 75th birthday.

“I wanted to do a few things before I croak,” he joked.

After 17 years of taking residents from A to B, Mr Munro has seen his fair share of interesting fares.

Early on in his taxi career, Mr Munro was driving a man to Bunbury, the man having enjoyed a few alcoholic beverages that afternoon.

“Halfway through the ride he pulls out a big carving knife and said ‘I’m going to kill everyone’ before he put the knife away and started chatting again,” Mr Munro said.

Another time, in something that could only happen in Harvey, he had to accept an interesting form of payment.

“One time I picked up a drunk guy who needed to get home but he didn’t have any money,” Mr Munro said.

“He said to me, ‘I don’t have any cash, but I’ve got an Italian sausage I can give you’.

“I told him that was fine by me, and sure enough when I dropped him home he paid me with a homemade Italian sausage.”

He also wound up the accidental owner of a dog called Rusty for a short time, after a couple moving interstate got to the airport before realising they hadn’t planned what to do with their dog.

Not operating solely within the Harvey shire, he drives to Perth Airport and Bunbury Hospital at least once a week, often goes to Waroona and Mandurah, and even as far afield as Narrogin.

“You meet some very different people,” Mr Munro said.

“I’ve been very lucky being in Harvey.

“All the young ones are always very respectful, even after they’ve had a few.

“I’ve only had one runner in 17 years, and he ran away from his own driveway so I don’t know how clever that was.”

Before setting up the local business Mr Munro drove trucks around the country for 30 years, doing long-haul drives which took him to places like Darwin, Kununurra and Sydney to name a few.

At the end of June Mr Munro will again hit the roads, but this time for more personal reasons.

“I plan to travel around and catch up with family and friends around the place,” he said.

He said he wants someone to buy the business not for the money, but to make sure the town continues to have this much-needed service.

Without Harvey Taxis, there are no other door-to-door transport options in Harvey.

“It’s not the money, its the service side of things I worry about, especially the wheelchair access,” he said.

After almost 50 years on the roads, Mr Munro has definitely earned the right to turn off the meter.

And in case you were wondering what happened to the man with the sausage, Mr Munro continued to give him rides over the years and they even became friends.

“But he hasn’t paid me with a sausage again.”

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