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Last Updated: Friday, 24 March 2006, 16:53 GMT
US bus cleaner retires aged 100
Arthur Winston
Mr Winston said he was considering working with senior citizens
A Los Angeles man who worked cleaning buses for the Metropolitan Transport Authority for 76 years has finally called it quits on his 100th birthday.

Arthur Winston was only absent for one day during his working life - when his wife died in 1988.

In 1996, Mr Winston was honoured by former US President Bill Clinton as "Employee of the Century".

In the same year, LA's transport authority renamed its South Bay bus depot the "Arthur Winston division".

I just kept on going - I'd rather be moving, working or doing something than laying around the house
Arthur Winston

Born in Oklahoma, he began picking cotton when he was 10.

But several harvests were lost to droughts and storms, forcing the family to head west. In 1924 he found work with the Pacific Electric Railway Co.

Mr Winston told the BBC he had seen many changes over the years and that life had definitely improved.

"We got away from the horse and buggy days," he said.

In recent years, Mr Winston led a team of 11 service attendants. Every day they fuelled and washed dozens of buses.

He said he had seen generations of co-workers come and go but he never felt he was missing out on a "gentle retirement".

"I just kept on going. I'd rather be moving, working or doing something than laying around the house," he said.

'Not in his DNA'

Mr Winston's great-niece said he had never been late for work and had an impeccable record in terms of safety.

"His fellow employees have always looked up to him. He has shown us he is a man of integrity and honour, and provided us with a good model of work ethics," Yvette Chappell-Ingram said.

Mr Winston has no definite plans for retirement but said he wants to keep busy - possibly working with senior citizens. He is also planning to travel to Tennessee to visit his 98-year-old brother.

"We've never encouraged him not to work because that's not him - it's not in his DNA," Ms Chappell-Ingram said.


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