Goodaye all. I hope many of you saw the link/video “Mr Positive” that I shared on Facebook and Twitter. You can find it at http://www.truckingnation.com.au Chris Harmer is Mr Positive and he was interviewed by Stephen and the intro was done by Sarah, both from Whiteline Television. I have known Chris for many years, back when he and I lived in Brisbane and worked for Finemores.
I worked in the container park for 13 years after starting as a courier driver, then moved into tankers, moving to Goondiwindi to carry Ampol fuel from Brisbane to Dubbo. Chris was in car carriers, then moved into the office and then on the road for tankers. I have an old photo of the two of us at Avenal Roadhouse in two Finemores Volvos, both coming out of Melbourne.
We passed on the road and sort of kept in touch as I moved to Dubbo and then Chris left Finemores and started working for local companies in Wagga Wagga and we would chat on the phone at night when he was on the road. Chris is a very well liked and popular driver with those he knows, sometimes you have to que up to talk to him on the phone.
I think our longest conversation on the phone was well over three hours, each discussing our problems and listening to the other with his. Chris was a fan and supporter of my efforts and often told me not to give up if I had a bad week or could not achieve what I wanted to. When you have a friend that you can discuss your dreams and your problems with, it can help lessen the burden, provide another view and simply, make the night and the drive, much shorter.
Depending on where he was going and when, we might speak three times one week and then not for the next. Very occasionally, we would pass on the road, a couple of times we met up in Melbourne, but mostly we talked on the phone at night when on the road.
I am missing his voice and contact, as his license was revoked after what they initially thought was a stroke, but was then diagnosed as serious brain cancer, after two operations to remove tumours, he was told he may only have 12 to 18 months to live. Chris lives for his family, wife and children, though two of his kids have a serious affliction which means they will require life long care.
He loves trucks and whilst it has helped him look after his family, it has not always gone easily. As with all jobs, but more with interstate truck driving, you are on the road and you’re often a long way from the family at home. This has made it hard on his wife, particularly with the children, but Chris has said often, that Burkinshaws were the best employer and the owner has not only helped when needed, he has really tried to do his best to help Chris when family situations needed him home.
I am hoping to attend the benefit day, Chris has invited me and I hope you might watch the video, consider giving something to the go fund me page which Melanie Burkinshaw set up, as without a truck license, Chris and his family now have no fulltime job and he is facing a short time left to live.
Chris says some have defeated his condition, he has done chemo and is still positive as per the video and I truly hope he can beat this, but if he can’t, he and his family will need some help. None of us know when our time is up, life is but a game and we can only play till it is over and do the best we can. I wish I could do more myself, but if I can get someone who is in a better position to help, then I will have done something small to help Chris and his family. Share the video, help if you can and recognise that Chris did like anyone else would, feel angry at first, but I applaud his acceptance, recognise his belief in his God and church and wish him all the best. I thank him for all his time, his listening and support and keeping me keen and enthused.
Chris I hope you beat this, but either way, am glad I have had you as a friend. Good friends are hard to find and friends like Chris are rare indeed. All the best mate. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.