Stop the removal of a Chris "BASIL" Blake's memorial
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October 6th 2016 will forever be in the hearts and the minds of those involved in the truck driving industry, Two people died in a fatal crash between two heavy vehicles at Erskine Park in Sydney One driver being Peter Cardilini and the other being Chris "Basil" Blake. News of the fatality hit the truck industry hard with many drivers still struggling to cope with their grief and own reality even three months on after the accident.
For those who knew Chris AKA Basil the news of his untimely death has shaken even the strongest of men, Basil is so well known to many of the men and women on our roads that within hours of his name being released in the media fundraising from the truck driving community had started to help cover the costs of his funeral and plans had started to build a small memorial to be placed at the crash site, Somewhere for all truck drivers to go and pay their respects and remember Basil for the man he was just as you would when you go to a cemetery.
Flowers were laid at the crash site for weeks, even a tshirt placed on the fence with a letter written to Basil from one of his closest friends, until the tshirt and flowers had to be removed and the memorial was placed in the garden using parts of Basils beloved truck.
Being apart of the Trucking industry is being part of a tight knit community, the industry itself brings a sense of family and brotherhood to those who drive our highways to stock our supermarket shelves, The long nights and weeks away from wives and children brings those men and women together as brothers and sisters who rely on each other through the good times and the bad, and for those who have lost their lives on the highway doing what they love many have a memorial made for them for other truck drivers to visit, and remember those who we have lost.
Basil was the type of guy who would always help anyone regardless of his own life turmoil, He would give anyone struggling the shirt off his own back if it would help, asking for nothing in return but to see that person get back on their feet, Often he would be the driver who has a banner of a truck driver who had passed away at the annual lights on the hill truck drivers tribute held in Queensland.
This memorial is something small that the truck industry shows how much Basil means to everyone, to give him the admiration and respect back that he had shown others, dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Today we have been informed that the council of Erskine Park want to remove Basil's memorial as they believe it to be dangerous, even though it has been set back from the roadside and regular garden maintenance has made it into a place of peace and dignity.
If Basil's memorial was to be removed many of his friends and family will still struggle to come to terms with not only loosing a great mate and brother but also loosing a place for them to find peace and deal with their grief.
If you ever get the chance to drive our highways take note in how many roadside memorials there are, for not only truck drivers but also car drivers who have lost their lives on our roads.
We need to keep Basil's memorial in place to give so many Men women and children who either directly know or knew of Chris "BASIL" Blake, a place for them to go as remember and pay respect, a central place that is well known to all interstate truck drivers.
In order to make this a safe place for everyone we propose that all vehicles that are to stop at Basil's memorial are to find more accomodating space to park instead of the limited space road side, and to keep all vehicles off the grass, there is ample room for all vehicles to safely park and it has been made known via all social media that vehicles are not to park on the grass or in large groups.
Please sign our petition below to show your support to keep Basil's memorial in place, to remember him and all he has done for others in the truck driving community. We all need somewhere to go that represents Basil and what he meant to all of us.
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