WINNIPEG, MB – The Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA) honored its best and brightest this weekend with its Fall Gala Awards Dinner.
Surrounded by food, fun, and good company, the MTA recognized not one, but two members who have spent their lives in service to the trucking industry by changing the name of the Service to Industry award to the Red Coleman Service to Industry Award. Going forward the award will be sponsored by the Coleman family and bare the name of the senior Coleman who has been in trucking nearly 70 years.
The first winner of the new award was Louie Tolaini, owner of the TransX Group, who started as a driver more than half a century ago.
Starting with one truck in the 1950’s, the company now has over 3000 employees.
Tolaini remembered that when he started in 1963 it was 29 cents for a gallon of gasoline, and minimum wage was less than a dollar, but things have changed for the better in his estimation.
“I was born in Italy and came to Canada when I was 19 years old,” he says. “We were poor. Very, very poor.”
Tolaini overcame those first beginnings, but not without difficulty.
“When you can’t read, write, speak (English), your choices aren’t a great many,” He said. “What could I do? I learned to drive a truck. Canada has been good to me.”
In addition to the service to industry award, the MTA honored the Associate of the Year, Jim Campbell, owner of First Class Training Centre driver training school.
Driver of the Year went to Ron Rodych, who has been with Gordon Food Service for 28 years. He was presented the award last June, but was celebrated on Saturday with a video and presentation at the gala.
New Pioneer Club Members were inducted as well. The club includes members who have been continuously employed in trucking for at least 25 years. New members include Paul Arnaud of Big Freight Systems, Monique Laramee, also of Big Freight Systems, Robert Wensel of Arnold Bros., and Darrin Fiske of Kleysen Group.
This article has been updated from an earlier version to correct an error.
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