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Year: 2015

Robert Haberfield's family has been synonymous with the trucking industry since the 1920s. Robert's family gained the contract for farm milk pick-up in cans for the Nestle Company at Dennington, Victoria in 1930 using English lorries with solid rubber tires.

Robert commenced his driving career in 1981 aged 21 with Boyle's Transport at Mepunga Victoria. During his truck driving career he drove an International, an Atkinson, a Kenworth, a Mack and a Western Star towing single and B-double stock crates. In 1986 Robert married Heather Newell and they bought the family dairy farm where they raised four children.

It was in 1981 that Boyle's started transporting bobby calves to Dromana, Cranbourne, Brooklyn and Portland from their Mepunga depot. Robert attacked this monumental task with great enthusiasm handling 350 to 400 calves per load. One memory was when he returned to the depot to wash out the trailer, there was still one calf in the trailer. Robert could always see the humorous side of a situation.

New runs commenced with stock being transported from Perth and Katanning Western Australia to Warrnambool. Brahman cows from the Northern Territory were transported to Wonthaggi and Warrnambool and sheep from Longreach to Warrnambool. Robert and his brother Raymond traveled two-up on several of these longer trips, both being ardent fans of the outback and loved long trips.

Robert was a leader in the community and his generosity was second to none, from taking loads of fencing materials and hay to farmers who were burnt out during the Black Saturday fires in 2009 or being available for a friend who needed a hand. He was a 35 year decorated member of the CFA and his role was not only on the back of a fire tanker but with his skills as a pilot he was asked to join the CFA Air Wing as an observer. His flights were sometimes dangerous, flying through smoke ash to plot the co-ordinates of a fire and spotting lightning strikes. Robert was also a life member of the Nirranda Cricket Club, a member of the MCC for 17 years and a Queen's Scout.

He continued as a driver for Boyle's Transport for 33 years until his tragic death in a truck accident on the 14th January 2014. Above all, his greatest love was his family. He took great pride in all their achievements and he was always available to listen, offer advice or get in and lend a hand.

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