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Emotional tribute to dad in Lights on the Hill convoy

Judy Prenzler and her daughter Robyn Prenzler-Wilson ready to watch the convoy. One of the trucks carried a banner for Errol Prenzler husband and father who died 30 years ago. Lights on the Hill convoy leaves Withcott heading to Gatton. September 2017
Judy Prenzler and her daughter Robyn Prenzler-Wilson ready to watch the convoy. One of the trucks carried a banner for Errol Prenzler husband and father who died 30 years ago. Lights on the Hill convoy leaves Withcott heading to Gatton. September 2017 Bev Lacey

AS THE Warrego Hwy was filled with the sound of roaring diesel engines, Robyn Prenzler-Wilson swelled with emotion.

Fixed to the front of a truck in the Lights on the Hill convoy was a banner for the first time in 30 years for her family; the smiling face of her father Errol Prenzler, a lifelong truck driver who died three decades ago, looking back.

Mrs Prenzler-Wilson was just 23 when her father died, but his passion for the trucking life, his love of the job and the true camaraderie that runs through the industry is something she and her siblings, and her mother, still cherish in his memory.

"My dad was a truckie from when he could first walk," she told The Chronicle.

"He was known as The Judge - he didn't have a lot to say but when he did, it was worth listening to."

He worked at Western Transport and JLP Transport, before branching out as an owner-operator.

"It's one of the hardest jobs.

"Dad was away at least five or six days and even when he was carting out of the Lockyer Valley, doing the markets on the shorter runs, it's was still hard work.

"He was a good dad. For me, (the memorial and industry) is just part of my life.

"I have a bumper sticker on my car that says 'proud truckie's daughter'. It has been part of our lives."

For Mrs Prenzler-Wilson, her sister Kerri, brother Peter and mum Judy, the Lights on the Hill convoy is a show of strength ahead of the emotionally charged memorial service on a Sunday.

The sound of an air-horn gives her chills, and while she knows the service tomorrow will be hard, it's a way to remember her dad.

"The memorial service on Sunday is what gets me the most," she said.

"More drivers have passed away that are going on the wall, more and more families are coming every year, everyone puts flowers out.

Errol Prenzler plaque on the Lights on the Hill memorial at Gatton.
Errol Prenzler plaque on the Lights on the Hill memorial at Gatton. Contributed

"The truck that was there for us, he's part of the memorial service tomorrow.

"I'm a blithering mess by the end of it. I've kept it alive in my life, and it doesn't matter how old you are, my dad is a truckie."

The memorial service will be held at Lake Apex in Gatton from 10am Sunday, followed by an event at the Gatton Showgrounds for the NRL grand final.

Topics:  gatton lights on the hill lockyer valley toowoomba truck driver warrego highway


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