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Convoy 4 Kids in Tasmania another huge success

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The second successive Convoy 4 Kids was held in Southern Tasmania yesterday, with all funds raised again going to the children’s ward at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

The amazingly competent Emma Bygrave from the South East Sun’s Women’s Football Club, who had been instrumental, with Rick Sutcliffe, in getting the very successful Annual Truck Show at Sorrell up and running, again came on board with her considerable assistance and expertise.

With the stated aim of fundraising for this worthy cause, they had hoped to get some coverage from the local media, sending off press releases, etc, but were sadly largely ignored so that sadly there was little publicity other than by word-of-mouth and among friends in the community, but in the event, on a cool sunny Saturday evening, a gratifying 48 trucks arrived at the industrial hub in Brighton at 4.30pm.

Craig Walker’s eye-catching T-909 ‘The Ghost’ in No 1 spot, lead the Convoy with the top 10 trucks leading the way to the city along the Brooker Highway, again passing the paediatric ward at the Royal Hobart Hospital, where the children were able to hear them passing, returning via the Tasman Bridge, Lindisfarne and Old Beach, to the Pontville Oval.

The first 10 trucks were, in order,

  1. Craig Walker’s T-909, driver Brad Mollineaux
  2. Batchelor’s Construction W. Star Constellation, driver Mark Birchmore
  3. Andrew Barker’s T-658, driver Andrew Barker
  4. William Oakley’s T-508 Brute, driver David Oakley
  5. Top Form Excavations T-480, diver Scott Triffett
  6. Tas Road Express T-610, driver Daniel “Sleeves:” White
  7. Sutcliffe Contracting Scania, driver Tony Large
  8. P. Bennett & Sons Mack Superliner, driver Rick “Grinch” Sutcliffe
  9. T.S. T-659, driver Robert Sutton
  10. Tas Trans T-904, driver Brad Leach

 

Daniel White, Josh Stephens, Alex Rothwell and friends post convoy at Pontville.

Once again, occasional trucks joined the Convoy en-route whilst others left to go about their work prior to the final assembly at Pontville, where they provided a barbecue and “meet and greet” for the returning drivers and their families, all with due regard to Social Distancing, and Bygrave tells us that an amazing amount of money has been raised, in excess of $15,000 in fact. The auction of places in the convoy raised $12,500 of this, the rest was picked up along the way.

Once again this Convoy for Kids has to be hailed as a huge success, the more remarkable owing to the almost total lack of any local media coverage other than mention on Facebook.

Sutcliffe has asked us to thank the following people who all put in to make this happen: “Firstly thanks to Daniel White who had the original idea, with his great ‘never give up’ attitude, then of course Emma Bygrave for all her efforts and hard work, to Jacqui Juvakka for all the printing of shirts and the banner, and for liaising with the children’s reactions in the ward as we went past.

“To the good people who arranged and manned the barbecue at the site, to Quinton Turner for making the excellent videos, and to Linda and Chris Poulton for their support on their excellent T.I.T. web page, and finally to Lee and Bridget Bygrave for their loyalty and assistance. Oh, and to those who dressed as the Grinch, Santa and the Elf!! The kids had a great time with them!

“But mostly to all the truck drivers, Owners, and people who donated, and all those folks who turned out along the roads to wave and cheer us on, it was a great feeling for us all!”

There was an award for the Lead Convoy truck 2021 to Craig Walker’s T-909 Kenworth, driven by Brad Mollineaux.

Robert Sutton with his WTS T659 getting in the spirit of Christmas.

This 2021 South East Sun’s Christmas themed Convoy 4 Kids has again affirmed our faith in our hard-working southern Tasmanian drivers, and all those folks who polished and buffed and detailed their trucks (including Sutcliff’s daughters!), and then got out there to make the day again a great success.

For so many 2021 has again been a depressing, even a grim year. Well for us a bunch of cheerful Tasmanian truck drivers, giving freely of their time, fuel and resources, bouncing out on that Saturday evening to bring much-needed resources to children in Hobart’s paediatric ward, as well as the joy of hearing the passing trucks doing it for them, has been just amazing! Certainly, it has lifted our hearts, and hopefully presages a much brighter and happier year ahead.

In fact, this change of time to an evening convoy has proved a huge success, as there was less traffic to interfere with the convoy, and heaps more support along the way, with an estimated crowd of 200 at the Old Beach round-about alone and crowds all along the roadside.

We would like to conclude by saying what a great day it was for all concerned, and how appreciated the efforts of Emma Bygrave and Rick Sutcliffe have been.

In closing Sutcliffe says he has learned a lot from the experience again, and in addition to chasing sponsors for next year’s convoy, he is hoping to incorporate a truck drivers charity football match to follow the completion of the convoy at the Pontville Oval.

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