Long tribute for truckie ’legend’

The long procession on Princes Highway, Hallam. 280510_05 Pictures: GARY SISSONS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A 100-plus convoy of truck drivers wound through Hallam, Dandenong and Dandenong South in tribute to a much-loved friend, husband, father and grandfather Stuart Baker.

At the front of the pack on the morning of 11 May was his son Aaron, of Pakenham, who drove Stuart’s beloved Kenworth T900 alongside Stuart’s “best mate” Mark.

Stuart’s wife Lisa, daughter Emma and son Shannon followed.

As a tribute, the show-stopping procession of trucks “blew it out of the water”, Aaron said.

“I said to a good friend of mine that I’m going to give him the send-off he deserves.

“I knew it was going to be pretty big but it was mind-blowing.”

The procession rolled along for 45 minutes on Princes Highway, South Gippsland Highway, Dandenong Bypass and Frankston-Dandenong Road to the funeral service at Bunurong Memorial Park.

His truck sported new number plates ‘STU 900’ in lasting tribute to Mr Baker, who worked at Membrey’s Transport and Crane Hire for 30 years.

“It will always be Stuey’s truck,” his long-time boss Craig Membrey said.

“He was a true legend in our industry.”

Following the tradition, Mr Baker’s sons Aaron and Shannon also drive for Membrey’s.

“We’ve been part of it since we were kids,” Aaron said.

“We started washing trucks as soon as we were old enough. We always used to ride with Dad on the weekends.

“It was an honour and a privilege to work side by side with him and my brother.”

Aaron remembers his father as devoted to his family, doting on his 20-month-old grandson.

“When he was away he would be talking to him on the way. He’d say give him a hug for Pop, and I’ll see him on the weekend.

“Family was everything to Dad.

“For all the time he was out on the road, he always made up for it

“He was just perfect.”

Mr Baker, 59, was tragically killed after being crushed by a falling gate at work on 22 April.

The gate is believed to have been under repair by an external third-party at the time.

WorkSafe is investigating.