Owen Ringrose remembered as Gulf of Carpentaria truck driving legend

Posted March 17, 2017 19:48:16

Owen Ringrose standing in front of his truck Photo: Communities in the Gulf of Carpentaria are rallying behind the family of the late Owen Ringrose. (Supplied: Ringrose family)[1]Map: Mount Isa 4825[2]

Friends and family of truck driver Owen Ringrose have remembered him as a generous person who was a part of the development the Gulf of Carpentaria. When Owen lost his battle with cancer on March 4, it prompted a huge response from the gulf community, including a shut down ceremony in the remote community of Doomadgee. Owen’s wife Trish Ringrose said Owen would be the most surprised to see the response in the past fortnight.

Trucks line-up for Owen Ringrose's funeral Photo: Queensland truck drivers set-up an impressive funeral parade for the late Owen Ringrose. (Supplied: Ringrose family)[3]

“When we were going through what we would like for funerals, his main thing was no fanfare,” Mrs Ringrose said.

“But that’s what’s such a joke because there’s no way you can have a personality like that and go out with no fanfare. “We’re not really surprised because we know the type of person he was.” The truck driving community rallied for the funeral, held at Springwood south of Brisbane last Sunday, with a line of trucks making the funeral parade.

“Wherever he went, left a huge footprint of honest, integrity, energy and just fun loving,” she said.

Finding love in Whangerei, New Zealand

Owen and Trish Ringrose married in 1972 before they spent their life between New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and eventually settling in Australia. The pair at the Catholic Church met in Whangerei, on the north island of New Zealand, in 1968 where they were both raised by dairy farming families.

Audio: The Ringrose family talk about the late Owen Ringrose (ABC News)[4]

“We just clicked and the rest is history really, 44-and-a-half years of it,” Mrs Ringrose said. After meeting in Whangerei, the pair lived in New Zealand’s north and south island, Fiji, Brisbane, the Solomon Islands and finally settling in the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1999.

“No one had successfully had a regular freight service to the Gulf and that really appealed to him,” she said.

Moving to the rugged gulf country

The next 17 years involved several hours driving on the rugged roads in the gulf country, delivering hot and cold food to stations and remote communities. Owen’s son Bill Ringrose said watching the the gulf truck driving business grow was exciting.

Owen Ringrose's truck bogged on a rugged gulf road Photo: Owen Ringrose bogged his truck plenty of times trying to haul freight across the rugged gulf country (Supplied:: Ringrose family)[5]

“Everytime I talked to him on the phone, because I’m based in New Zealand, he would just explain the latest chapter, the latest story and the latest challenge he’d overcome,” he said. “Right from learning how deep the forward crossings were or a station bringing a grader 80 kilometres.”

Bill said he would like people to remember his father for the hard yards he had put towards development the north-west Queensland.

“I think if you go back to the people who have been there right from the start what it was and how hard it was to start,” he said.

“The gulf was a huge challenge but his whole life was a challenge and he had time for everybody.”

Topics: rural, mount-isa-4825, bundaberg-4670[6][7][8]

References

  1. ^ Photo: Communities in the Gulf of Carpentaria are rallying behind the family of the late Owen Ringrose. (Supplied: Ringrose family) (www.abc.net.au)
  2. ^ Map: Mount Isa 4825 (maps.google.com)
  3. ^ Photo: Queensland truck drivers set-up an impressive funeral parade for the late Owen Ringrose. (Supplied: Ringrose family) (www.abc.net.au)
  4. ^ Audio: The Ringrose family talk about the late Owen Ringrose (ABC News) (www.abc.net.au)
  5. ^ Photo: Owen Ringrose bogged his truck plenty of times trying to haul freight across the rugged gulf country (Supplied:: Ringrose family) (www.abc.net.au)
  6. ^ rural (www.abc.net.au)
  7. ^ mount-isa-4825 (www.abc.net.au)
  8. ^ bundaberg-4670 (www.abc.net.au)

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