Alexandra to host Victoria's first truck drivers' memorial

A joint initiative is behind the construction of a new truck drivers' memorial in the Victorian town of Alexandra

Alexandra to host Victoria's first truck drivers' memorial
Local Alexandra and district tradesmen on site in Rotary Park Alexandra for a preliminary progress meeting on the Victorian Truck Drivers Memorial

Construction is commencing on Victoria’s first permanent Truck Drivers Memorial in Rotary Park at the corner of Grant and Vickery Streets in Alexandra.

The project, which has a project cost estimated at $50,000, is a joint initiative of the annual Alexandra Truck Ute & Rod Show and the Work-Related Grief Support Services of the Creative Ministries Network.

Its purpose is to provide families and friends of the quite significant number of drivers who have lost their lives in truck or transport related accidents with a non-denominational memorial site and place where they can honour the men and women who have died while going about their work.

The present Australian Truck Drivers Memorial is in Tarcutta, NSW and although well supported, it is often an inconvenient place to travel to for family, friends and industry colleagues.

The project for Alexandra has been initiated by the Alexandra Truck, Ute & Rod Show, the major community event held each year on the Sunday of the June long weekend.

This year’s show will be the held on Sunday, June 8 and will be the 18th annual series of the event which attracts significant transport industry support and brings a large number of people to Alexandra for the free event.

Andrew Embling, President of the Alexandra Tourism & Traders Association, says "the Memorial is being built on a very visible site within the Alexandra Township".

"We have been fortunate in receiving the support of ten or more local tradespersons – builders, concreters, bricklayers and electricians who are contributing their time as volunteers in building the Memorial," Embling says.

"In addition, virtually all the construction materials are being donated by local and other Victorian suppliers.

"Our local Murrindindi Shire Council has also been a key supporter with technical advice, design and engineering input."

The structure measures about 2.6 metres in height and has a base width exceeding 6 metres.

Its main construction will be local stone and rendered brickwork and will be faced with Corten Steel panels and already some forty families have expressed their wish in having memorial plaques for their family members placed on the memorial.

Embling says the project is designed to be completed ahead of this year’s Alexandra Truck, Ute & Rod Show.

On Sunday February 15, starting at 11am, there will be an official blessing of the Memorial to be conducted by the Rev John Bottomley of the Creative Ministries Network.

He will be joined by Dan O’Farrell Chaplain of the Toll Transport Group.

Also in attendance will be Liz Martin, the CEO of the Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs who is the Patron of the Alexandra Memorial project.

A large family and community gathering will also attend on February 15.

"What we are creating is a place of quite reflection in Alexandra for partners, family and friends of those who have lost their lives in transport or trucking accidents," Embling says.

"Having a permanent place for recognition is judged as a real social and community benefit.

"The support we have received in offers of volunteer labour to build the project as well as donated materials is outstanding."

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