The tight-knit trucking community paid tribute to one of its own Saturday.
More than 50 log trucks polished to perfection made their way from Westline Harvesting Ltd. in the new industrial section and along Mackenzie Avenue, horns honking, in a show of respect for fellow trucker Ron Bliss, who died suddenly last month.
Bliss worked for Clusko Logging for the past 22 years and is one of only a handful of men to receive the special honour.
“It’s not often you get a parade,” said truck mechanic Adrian Coupal, a friend and co-worker at Clusko who knew Bliss since he started working in the industry.
“Ron was well-liked — a really good guy.
“We called him our big teddy bear.”
Bliss’s casket was at the head of the trucker’s parade, being carried by a restored 1978 Kenworth LW owned by Clusko while someone followed directly behind in Bliss’s everyday work truck.
Following them were trucks and drivers representing many local companies, including Clusko, Westline, Longhorn, Eldorado, Gen 4 and San José trucking and even trucks from out of town.
Coupal said the logging truck industry has changed in many ways over the years but one thing that remains the same is the deep sense of camaraderie amongst drivers.
He said Bliss was always the first to greet other drivers on his daily travels and, back in the day, enjoyed gathering with other drivers Friday afternoons over a ‘black pop.’
The first local driver to receive a trucker’s parade was Walt Hardy in 1987, and the most recent was Earl Adolph last year.
The parade was organized by Westline Harvesting supervisor Troy Bremner, who began his career working alongside Bliss as a teenager.
Although it is a devastating loss, it is nice to see our community so touched by a colleague and friend that they’re willing to honour him with such a moving tribute.
– Williams Lake Tribune