Construction is commencing on Victoriaâ€™s first permanent Truck Drivers Memorial in Rotary Park at the corner of Grant & 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 yearâ€™s show will be the held on Sunday 8 June 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 â€œthe Memorial is being built on a very visible site within the Alexandra Township.
â€œWe have been fortunate in receiving the support of ten or more local tradespersons â€“ builders, concreters, bricklayers and electricians who are contributing their time as volunteers in building the Memorial.
â€œIn addition virtually all the construction materials are being donated by local and other Victorian suppliers.
â€œOur local Murrindindi Shire Council has also been a key supporter with technical advice, design and engineering input.â€
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.
Mr Embling says the project is designed to be completed ahead of this yearâ€™s Alexandra Truck, Ute & Rod Show.
On Saturday 15 February commencing from 11 am there will also 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 Oâ€™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 Sunday 15 February.
â€œWhat 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.
â€œHaving a permanent place for recognition is judged as a real social and community benefit.
â€œThe support we have received in offers of volunteer labour to build the project as well as donated materials is outstandingâ€ Andrew Embling says.
Local Alexandra and district tradesmen met on site in Rotary Park Alexandra for a preliminary progress meeting and construction has already commenced on the Victorian Truck Drivers Memorial with the community project valued at $50,000 now well underway.
For more information or interview: Andrew Embling 0418 266 038