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Remembering lost mates

Teagan Wallace at the Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial in Alexandra. Photo by Daneka Hill

‘Cookie’, ‘Moose’, ‘Eddie’, ‘Piano Man’, ‘96’, ‘Buffalo’ and ‘Gazza’.

These nicknames have been carved into the metal of the Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial, where the names of trucking industry workers who have lost their lives on the job, or died after making a significant contribution to the industry, are recorded.

For two years the memorial has sat unchanged due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but on June 11, district residents and family members will gather in Alexandra to install 28 long overdue names.

Teagan Wallace’s brother, Callan, will be among the new additions.

“He wasn’t in a truck, but he died on the road,” Teagan said.

“That’s why I’ve became involved with the Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial Committee ... it’s about remembering the people who’ve gone.

“The committee also helps with grief counselling for the families and that’s how this (the memorial) all came about.”

The names of trucking industry workers who lost their lives on the job, or died after making a significant contribution to the industry, are engraved on the Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial in Alexandra. Photo by Daneka Hill

The committee is hoping that timing the ceremony with the Alexandra Truck, Ute and Rod Show will help draw a bigger crowd.

“I encourage everyone to come down and pay your respects. The truck show is on Sunday (June 12) and we’re hoping the truck owners who arrive early will join,” Teagan said.

The Victorian Truck Memorial was constructed by the Alexandra Truck, Ute and Rod Show Committee in 2014 for the memorial committee.

Alexandra Truck, Ute and Rod Show and Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial committee member Andrew Embling said the amount of people who visited the memorial throughout the year was amazing.

“Any given weekend there are people there looking at it,” Andrew said.

“It’s for any Victorian who’s died in the trucking industry.”

The memorial event will happen at Rotary Park in Alexandra, next to the visitors’ centre, on Saturday, June 11 at 2pm.

The Victorian Truck Memorial was constructed by the Alexandra Truck, Ute and Rod Show Committee in 2014 for the memorial committee.