MONCTON, N.B. — In his 30 years behind the wheel, Fredericton truck driver Stewart Finnamore has logged six million accident-free kilometres, without so much as a single traffic violation – not even a parking ticket.
His “nothing short of spectacular” driving record was applauded by the members of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, who named him the 2008 APTA Driver of the Year. Described as a role model for his profession and a mentor to his co-workers, Finnamore drives for Clairville-based Atlantic Pacific Transport.
The recent Christmas dinner and awards ceremony in Moncton paid tribute to Finnamore and others for their outstanding contributions to Atlantic Canada’s road transport industry.
One of the event’s most prestigious prizes, the Service to Industry award, was presented to Gerald Battist, of Lyons Brook, N.S., in recognition of his contribution to the strength and growth of the trucking industry. The award, sponsored by Trailmobile since 1964, is the highest honour given to an executive member of the APTA and salutes individuals for their commitment, vision, leadership and dedicated service. Battist serves on the APTA’s board of directors, executive committee and charities committee.
Battist began his trucking career in 1966, loading his first dump truck. He later expanded his operation to haul fish, gravel and wood. Today Battist continues to operate a thriving trucking company, complemented by a stevedoring firm and reload business.
Another Nova Scotia man, Bob Gay, was this year’s recipient of the Safety to Motor Transportation Award, presented by Markel. Gay is the Truck School Coordinator for the Commercial Safety College in Masstown, N.S. His hard work and dedication have helped to make the college a leader in driver training, the APTA said in a release.
During the course of his 24-year career, Gay’s commitment to safety has extended outside of his work. He is the chief organizer and rodeo master for the APTA’s Atlantic Truck Driving Championship.
Another evening highlight was the presentation of the Dispatcher of the Year award to Fran Hammond by sponsor Shaw Tracking. Hammond has worked 25 years in dispatch, the past two and a half years for Classic Freight Systems in Dartmouth, N.S.
Classic Freight Systems’ general manager Blair Clark hailed her as an “amazing” people person. “Fran showed her strength and commitment to her team by coming back after only two months off battling cancer. Through Fran’s timeless commitment and skill, she significantly impacted the ability of our company to move forward and her positive attitude has helped foster an environment of team work and can-do perspective,” Clark said in nominating her for this award.
The event was also an occasion to present APTA bursaries to support three students who are pursuing a career in the transportation industry. This year’s recipients were Sylvie Gallant, Kevin Basque and Jolin Benoit, all from NBCC’s Dieppe campus.
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