Fred Lee was born in Numurkah, Victoria, in 1955. Fred’s first experience with trucks was when, as a child, he would ride along with his uncle who made deliveries in Melbourne. His father wanted him to follow the family tradition of becoming a butcher, so Fred followed that path, finishing his apprenticeship in 1974.
Fred married Lorraine Harrison in 1975 and the following year, his father-in-law, Victor Harrison, bought a Mercedes Benz cab over. Fred admired this truck and started driving freight interstate for Cubico until an incorrectly loaded trailer caused a rollover at Liverpool, New South Wales. The truck was rebuilt but then sold so Fred went back to butchering.
Fred and Lorraine then moved to Cobram in Victoria and Fred did some casual driving for different owners whilst butchering. In the early 1980’s Fred began full time work at the Cobram Abattoirs as a truck driver/meat lumper, carting meat all over the state. Fred worked there for many years until he purchased his own Mercedes Benz and towed a stock crate for Bond Brothers Carriers in Cobram. He mainly carted pigs but when that work became a little scarce, he returned to driving at the abattoir.
In 1986 Fred opened his own butcher shop in Barooga in New South Wales and worked hard there for a few years. In 1995 the family moved to Cairns but returned to Cobram in 1998 whereupon Fred commenced driving for Brian Hicks. In 2004 Fred started driving for Safeway in Mulgrave where he worked happily until the company restructured and outsourced the transport department. During this time Fred made many long standing friendships. Fred then went back to Cobram and drove casually for Anthony ‘Tank’ Zito before moving on to work for Robert Hawthorn at Southern Transport, Strathmerton. Fred continues to work there to this day, carting mostly cool freight into Melbourne.
Fred’s safe driving record, love of life on the road, great mates and being a part of the trucking industry itself has made Fred a proud man. His strong work ethic and his professionalism is lauded by his family and friends. Inducted in 2021