The historic town of Richmond in Tasmania lit up last Saturday when a convoy of 42 trucks did a round trip from MyState Bank Arena to the town in honour of long-serving colleague, Leigh Lawson.
Lawson, passed away of a stroke on November 7, 2021 at the age of 56 – a sudden loss that shook the local Tasmanian trucking community.
“We treat our staff like family really and when he passed away it was a shock because it happened so quick,” said Lawson’s former boss and Spectran Group General Manager, Andrew Hazell.
Lawson had been with the company for the last 33 years and Hazell was determined to send off his close friend and colleague despite the fast-paced nature of the transport industry.
“The funeral was on a Tuesday and it’s very hard to stop business on a weekday because you need to meet customer requirements from so many areas,” Hazell said.
“We came up with the idea and rang companies to see if they were interested in jumping on board.
“The next thing we knew it had caught wind and we ended up having a good send off for Leigh. Every truck had a passenger. It was just a nice way to say goodbye to him.”
His nickname was ‘Licka’ across the industry. Lawson might have been a quiet achiever during the bulk of his career, but his approach has left an indelible mark on those who worked with him.
“When you look at truck driving, everyone knows Leigh.”
“Leigh did a lot for people behind the scenes. His family was surprised to see so many people pay their respects on Saturday,” said Hazell
“He just had that way about him. He was a very quiet bloke and I think he’d look back now and not really know he’d touched so many people. He had the ability to teach young guys how to do things properly and was a leader in the business with the younger generation coming through.”
Leigh drove a CAT Primemover since the pectran Group brought it 11 years ago and to this day its still in show room condition. After Leigh pass away, his name was added to the truck so he would also be remembered on the roads throughout Tasmania
Hazell has reached out to a few people regarding an annual charity to recognise Leigh, so those that knew him can give something back to the community. In the interim, Spectran Group will be honouring him in their own special way.
“We’ve got our Christmas dinner this Saturday night and we’re making an annual award in the name of Leigh, presented to an employee that we think showed the same dedication and leadership that Leigh had done over the years.”