Lights, trucks, ac­tion

Lights on the hill memo­rial con­voy

Deals on Wheels - - Contents -

Wilkins was beam­ing with the large turnout of trucks, driv­ers, their fam­i­lies and friends. The fine weather was an added bonus.

“We’ve got a hel­luva lot of peo­ple here, not a cloud in the sky, great mu­sic, great at­mos­phere, a great mob of driv­ers and our camp­ing ground is choc-a-bloc,” Kerry smiles. “There’s not much more we could ask for.”

The Satur­day con­voy was fol­lowed by top-line coun­try mu­sic en­ter­tain­ers, a Sun­day memo­rial at the Lights On The Hill wall at Gat­ton’s Lake Apex Park, be­fore a re­turn to the track for more mu­sic plus the NRL Grand Fi­nal shown live on the huge screen, supplied by Big Screens Aus­tralia. In ad­di­tion, cam­eras were placed strate­gi­cally along the War­rego High­way, so those who ar­rived early on the Satur­day could view the con­voys’ progress on the big screen be­fore they rolled into Gat­ton.

This year the twin con­voys’ War­rego High­way de­par­ture points were moved closer to­wards Gat­ton in a bid to keep the trucks to­gether. Hence, the west­bound con­voy’s ori­gin was the Ci­tiswich In­dus­trial Park at Bundamba, while the east­bound con­voy be­gan from the in­dus­trial area at Roches Road, With­cott.

A Lock­yer Val­ley Shire Coun­cil-owned Mack tip­per bear­ing a trib­ute to Steve Jones led the east­bound con­voy, ar­riv­ing at the Gat­ton Race­course well be­fore the K.S. Easter-led west­bound con­voy.

Coun­cil­lor Jan­ice Hol­stein from the Lock­yer Val­ley Re­gional Coun­cil was among those who took part in the con­voy. Usu­ally a spec­ta­tor in other years, this time she hitched a ride in one of Steve Greer’s trucks.

“That was a bit of buzz to drive from With­cott down to Gat­ton in a big long line of trucks,”

Jan­ice says, adding that she was un­sure of what make and model of truck she was in.

“It was a cab-over I know be­cause it was a lit­tle bit rough,” she laughs.

Look­ing around at the huge crowd and truck line-up, Coun­cil­lor Hol­stein be­lieves events such as Lights On The Hill are a pos­i­tive thing for the in­dus­try.

“I think it’s fab­u­lous to see truck driv­ers get­ting to­gether to cel­e­brate with each other and then re­mem­ber those they are lost,” she says.

“Most of them know each other and look out for each other, and I think that’s one of the good things about the truck­ing in­dus­try.

“They’re very im­por­tant to Aus­tralia and I don’t know what we’d do with­out them.

“Coun­cil is pretty happy to work with Lights On The Hill be­cause it draws peo­ple into our re­gion and they spend money here which is a great thing for us,” the coun­cil­lor con­tin­ues.

“And they also see that the Lock­yer Val­ley is a re­ally good place to live, so hope­fully we’ll see some of those driv­ers de­cide to re­lo­cate to the Lock­yer Val­ley, be­cause there’s nowhere bet­ter,” she smiles. “It’s so much nicer than liv­ing in a city.”

The Oc­to­ber long week­end ap­pears ce­mented in place for fu­ture Lights On The Hill con­voys, the cooler tem­per­a­tures re­ceiv­ing the thumbs up from or­gan­is­ers and par­tic­i­pants. How­ever, whether the con­voys re­turn to the race­track re­mains unan­swered.

“This is a great venue, and we’ve changed a lot of things this year,” Kerry Wilkins says.

“There could be a lot more done to im­prove our en­try and exit here, but I’d love to turn this into it per­ma­nently, but of course that’s the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.

“The late mayor had a new venue for us to go to and set up, but sadly he passed away be­fore it came to fruition,” Kerry says.

“We were for­tu­nate enough to be of­fered this po­si­tion, and we just wanted to make this one right, and we’ll move on and worry about the next one next year.”

1. Wick­ham’s are reg­u­lar Lights On The Hill sup­port­ers.

2. Leigh Bowdler (left) from the UK, and Es­mee De Wit from the Nether­lands had al­ready paid a visit to the Lights On The Hill Memo­rial at Lake Apex Park be­fore con­voy day. “We are cur­rently liv­ing in Gat­ton and work for a farm that uses the Nolan’s trucks to trans­port prod­ucts in and out, so we thought we’d come and see what’s go­ing on,” Leigh says.

3. Nolan’s her­itage on show. 4. Lock­yer Val­ley Re­gional

Coun­cil­lor Jan­ice Hol­stein. 3






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