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Year: 2018

THOMAS DESMOND ROWLAND (Tom) was born in Yarrawonga on 19th March 1942. He attended Yarrawonga Primary and Secondary Schools before commencing an apprenticeship as a baker in 1956. Although he completed his trade in 1960 Tom's love of trucks meant he also spent much time at the local sale yards, travelling with the stock carters and stockmen. It was inevitable he would change his career from baker to truckie. He loved it and hasn't looked back since. By 1961 he was driving a 57 Ford for Cliff Hitchcock carting gravel and hay.

Tom later drove a 1957 Commer Knocker diesel truck for Bernie Clarke carting wool, grain and general freight for four years. He went on to drive Euclids, tip trucks and concrete agitators for the Snowy Mountains scheme. By 1966 a desire to have a change saw him commence work for Bell Brothers in Dampier, W.A. driving Euclids and ERF Gardner motor tip trucks.

Over the years he also drove for Jim Aitkins, carting Shell fuels and general freight from Melbourne to Yarrawonga and for Les Stewart before moving to Wodonga to worked for Kerrs Transport driving a 10 series Dodge and 1418 Benz carting general freight between Melbourne and Sydney. He then became an owner driver carting for Uncle Bens Visyboard in a 1418 Benz and G88 Volvo.

Tom was widowed in April 1989 shortly after the birth of their daughter. Visyboard offered Tom a position in Melbourne where he could be home each night with his three daughters. Tom later married Denise Looker and they had another daughter. In 2003 they purchased a news agency in Chiltern and Tom took up lawn bowls and drove the Community Bus for local elderly citizens until he retired in 2013. Retirement allowed Tom and Denise to travel extensively. Upon their return Tom commenced driving the 'Wildchild' - a Sterling owned by D&M Transport. Now 76 years of age, after 60 years in trucking, Tom still enjoys the opportunity to drive a truck whenever he can.

Employers were always happy to recommend him to others. Tom is especially noted for fostering strong relationships underscored by the cakes and buns he takes to meetings.

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