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A special place to remember

For Teagan Wallace, helping to organise this year’s Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial event on June 11 has been full of mixed emotions.

On one hand, the committee member is pleased the gathering in Alexandra is finally taking place after two years of cancellations due to the pandemic.

But Teagan is also on hand this year to honour the memory of her beloved brother Callan Wallace, one of 28 industry men and women inducted onto the memorial wall in 2022.

Callan, a diesel mechanic at CMV Truck and Bus Dandenong, lost his life in 2020 in a motorbike accident, aged 30.  The service at the Rotary Park, 36 Grant Street, at 2pm will include inductees from the postponed 2020 and 2021 service.

Obsessed with trucks, and everything that goes with them, Callan was diagnosed with epilepsy at 17, and was forced to take a different route than most into the driver’s seat, said Teagan.

Callan celebrated his 30th birthday with work colleagues only a few weeks before he died.

“He had grand plans to be an interstate driver and all the rest, but he ended up going down the path of doing a diesel mechanic apprenticeship and then finally getting his licenses and climbing that ladder when he could because he had a lot of hoops to jump through,” said Teagan.

The roundabout road to his dream role, however, also turned out be a blessing in disguise in many ways, reveals his sister.

At CMV he joined the staff-funded charity foundation that volunteered their time and money to help the smaller charities in the region.

“It was probably his greatest achievement there,” said Teagan.

“It was just like that was made for him like it was clear he really thrived through working as a volunteer.

“He would go to different events, and take trucks to different events on the weekend so that kids would be able to sit in the truck. 

“They gave a lot of money to special schools so he turned up in a truck with a giant cheque and played with the kids. It was probably one of the biggest things that he really loved, and was just sort of getting started with doing all of that, too.”

Teagan says she’s grateful to have a place like the memorial wall where friends, family, including Callan’s seven-year-old son Tanner, can now come and honour his memory for years to come.

“You’re never going to get that person back, but this is the next best thing, and I think it’s really good for everyone to go to a spot and reflect, and see his name on the wall because everyone knew how much he loved trucking.”

At the conclusion of the memorial service, afternoon tea and refreshments will be provided along with light entertainment.  

For more information about the memorial service please contact Teagan, or refer to the Victorian Truck Drivers’ Memorial Facebook page.

The Victorian Trick Drivers’ Memorial is funded from the generous donations of businesses and individuals.

For donation enquiries, please contact Teagan Wallace on 0401 904 044 or email teaganwallace@hotmail.com.

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