"WE thought it was a fitting way to remember a mate."
Those were the words of Ararat-based truck driver Shane Molloy about the late Brian Brewer's induction into the National Road Transport Hall of Fame on August 25.
The hall of fame, based in Alice Springs, recognises the many people involved in the transport industry - a driving force behind what makes Australia tick.
Mr Molloy and his brother, Tim, were the driving force behind the inclusion in the hall of fame of Brian, who died in a truck crash near Naracoorte on April 23, 2006.
The Molloy brothers, through their six-truck business Molloy Brothers Transport, had dealt a lot with Brian over the years.
"We used to do a bit of work with Brian," Mr Molloy said.
"It was a huge shock to us when he died - this is the way we wanted to remember Brian.
"After growing up in Darlington, Victoria, Brian started working as a farm hand at Stony Point as a 21-year-old.
He got his truck licence and carted wool, grain and farm supplies.He then moved to Bordertown and worked for Crauford Earthmoving before moving to Naracoorte in 1982 where he worked for Rodney Curran.
With his wife Carol he eventually bought a truck and trailer when Mr Curran sold out and "started from there" according to Brian's son, Brett.
"He worked for Scott's Transport as well as carting timber and carting wool for local farmers," Brett said."Then he started as a full-time subbie (subcontractor) with Kalari of Portland."Brian gave 15 years of service to Kalari up until the day he died aged 59, robbing the Brewer family of a husband, father and grandfather.
"It was a pretty hard time for all of us," Brett said. "It was pretty hard work for a while."
Brett said the news that his father was up for induction in the hall of fame "came as a bit of a shock".
The Brewers were over at Coffin Bay where their oldest son Tom was on work experience when they heard the news.
"We were actually bogged on the beach," Brett laughed. "Shane rang me up and said "Bruiser - that's what they call me - we've got an idea, we're going to induct the old man into the Road Transport Hall Of Fame." I said 'Look Shane, I can't talk now, I'm nearly bogged on the beach'."
It all started from there.
"It was pretty good - this year they probably inducted about 100 people," Mr Brewer said. "It was a pretty amazing thing to see."
Brett described his father as a modest and humble man who would never have imagined earning a place in the transport hall of fame.
"He wouldn't have expected that to happen - for us it was a bit of a shock actually," he said. "Dad was just a casual sort of character. It was a real honour at the end of the day."
Brett drives trucks himself, having worked for Gericke Transport for almost 13 years.
He made the pilgrimage to Alice Springs with the Molloy brothers and another Ararat man, a couple of their mates from Ballarat and another friend from Berri.Three of the Brewers' Naracoorte friends - Wayne Johnson, "Sparky" Tonkin and "Grub" Foster also made the trip which started on August 14.
"I took my ute and a trailer with us - the boys took their bikes," Mr Brewer said. "We swagged it on the side of the road at night and finally got to Alice on the Friday arvo, the day before the induction.
"It was pretty interesting, really. It was a pretty good trip."
Brian's photo has joined that of many Australian road transport industry pioneers on the Shell Rimula wall of fame in Alice Springs.
"It's a great honour," Brett said, adding that he planned to return to Alice Springs next year."I'm going along next year for sure," he said."This time we had a boys' trip - next time I want to take (wife) Gabrielle and the two boys (Tom and Lachlan)."
He praised Tim and Shane Molloy for their work in making the induction happen.
"I just got the phone call and they basically said this is what we are doing and this is what we need you to do," he told the Herald.
"I hadn't seen them since about the time dad passed away - they're really good blokes."
He concluded that it was great to see his dad honoured in that way."Yeah it was - it was pretty good."