Hundreds of truck drivers, owners, families and big rig fans headed to the Goulburn Recreation Area on Saturday, either as part of the convoy or as spectators, to participate in the fundraising family day that is Goulburn’s Convoy for Kids.
Goulburn's Convoy for Kids is an event that many in the road transport industry look forward to each year. It is a chance to unite for a great cause, helping kids with serious health issues and their families in the local community.
As can be seen by the banners of some of the local and visiting trucks each year the fundraising event is often a personal one, with memorial banners commemorating the lives of young people who have lost a fight with disease being close to the hearts of drivers or the companies those in the companies they represent.
This year's convoy had more than 184 registered entries ranging in size from a 44-year-old 360cc Honda “rice burner” tray top from Gunning to massive, near new prime movers capable of hauling large payload road trains.
Trucks came from Sydney, Wagga Wagga, the Southern Highlands, Wollongong, Ulladulla and many places between.
While there are several of these rallies held at various times throughout the year the Goulburn event is a favourite of many who attend.
Neville Storey who owns a transport company in Ulladulla endeavours to attend each year. He and his mates from the Western Sydney Historic Truck Club are dedicated to preserving some of the machines that have helped build and transport provisions throughout the country. While running successful businesses many of these people have a soft spot for the older machines they grew up with or that became personal and sentimental favourites.
The transport industry is a way of life for most of these people and they enjoy sharing their passion.
Storey's story is typical of many in the industry. His father was a truck driver and right from a young age Neville wanted to be a truck driver. His interest continued through High School. Despite completing his HSC he went truck driving as soon as he could eventually becoming the owner of a successful freight business.
The huge number of local and district trucks involved in the convoy is an indication of the importance of the transport industry to the Goulburn community.
The Goulburn Convoy now ends with a fundraising carnival including rides for the kids, a tug-o-war stalls, music and an auction with a distinctly transport industry flavour. It is held at the Recreation Area where there is plenty of parking for the trucks and the drivers can enjoy a time of catching up with friends and lunch as well as participating in the other activities.
The community at large really gets behind this event, as evidenced not only by the big turnout, but also by the generosity of some of the bidders for the lead truck.
Neil Madden’s massive $19,000 bid for the lead truck is indicative of the generosity shown by the industry.
Goulburn Convoy for Kids president Bryan Webb said that the event which outgrew Belmore Park a few years ago has continued to grow in popularity.
“The Convoy for Kids is one of those special events, where all money raised goes to help local kids and families in need, he said. “Specifically, it supports children with cancer, terminal illness or a permanent disability and all money stays in the Goulburn community.
“I want to thank all the committee and helpers on the day who did a fantastic job. There were lots of families and children that we assist were out there, which is fantastic,” he said.
Mr Webb also made a special mention of Budget Petrol owners Stefan and Arthur Petalotis, who donated $5000 worth of fuel to the lead truck winning bidder.