ESSENDON, Australia, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- An Essendon, Australia, crossing guard said he was fired after 15 years because of his smoking, even though he kept the habit away from children.
Garry Macnamara, who said he has been smoking for about 50 years, said he received a letter three weeks ago from the Moonee Valley City Council informing him of his removal as a crossing supervisor at St. Therese's School, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
He said the letter came on the same day as another letter from the council informing him that he was due to receive an award for long service.
"I used to smoke between eight and 15 of a morning, no one within sight. Definitely no children, I wouldn't smoke in front of children," Macnamara said.
However, Fred Warner, human resources manager for the council, said there is a strict no-smoking policy for on-duty crossing guards and Macnamara had been warned about his smoking at least six times by his supervisor. Warner said officials had offered the crossing guard paid counseling to help him kick the habit.