I was born September 1966 to my German mother Helga Lotte Ehlert and English father Ronald George Collins. I had a privileged upbringing but also worked in their business from a young age. They instilled in me to do everything to the best of my ability and be thorough.
Holidays were overseas and also three weeks a year in Coffin Bay where I have the best memories from 3-years-old onwards. My dad and I spent hours fishing, cockling and walking and it was from these times my love for Coffin Bay, fishing and all things Eyre Peninsula stemmed.
In 1982 David and I met, I was in year 12 at Blackwood High School. By 1986 I was working at the State Bank and David and I bought a cottage in the Hills, we were married three months later. We lived there for 16 years and had 2 children, Riannon in 1987 then Matthew in 1990. We renovated the cottage ourselves with much blood, sweat and tears but mostly love. David was a concrete tank builder but in 2002 his back collapsed and we had to find a new path of business. An opportunity arose that was perfect for us and during a very traumatic period, moved to Wangary and bought a house, blocks and school buses.
We went through terrible times with life changing events but we learnt material belongings were not important, family, friends, support and safety were.
In 2009 saw another terrible time however a shining light was the birth of our first granddaughter Lilly. In 2010 our grandson Kody was born but in 2011 mum passed suddenly (my parents lived around the corner next to our now married daughter).
We took care of Dad who was deeply grieving, a nice event of 2011 was the birth of our grandchild Summer who kept us smiling through sad times. Dad passed on February 13 but he got a glimpse of what was to come with EP Bus Charters. Matthew and Cara blessed us with two grandchildren, Lani in 2014 then Mason in 2017.
In 2012 we won our school contracts back and purchased new buses. We thought to utilize these buses outside of school commitments, hence EP Bus Charters was born. We started to work with cruise ships as well as inbound tour operators from interstate and overseas, also conferences to provide tours and ground transport.
We then bought another coach and started long distance with schools, clubs also wedding transfers. We enjoyed working with seniors and in 2013 we started tours for the local seniors, widows and anyone who might like to take coach tours. We now run nine tours a year to great destinations, David drives and I take care of itineraries, details and guests. We take pride in all aspects of our business from school runs to weddings, long distance, charters to cruise ships, which is great for showcasing our wonderful region. Tours are special, we give people new memories and experiences. Sometimes I look around at guests and I’m moved to see them enjoying themselves, feeling safe and cared for. Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to even book.
After all that’s happened in my life, much of which I haven’t written about, I am at a place where I’m happy and blessed with my family, then EP Bus Charters, we are doing exactly as we should be. Our name is spreading and we have guests from across Eyre Peninsula as well as Adelaide. My parents would love our tours, all tours are in their memory.