John Lougheed’s life path didn’t allow him to finish secondary school. But the long-time Erb Transport driver believed so passionately in education that he spent the next 18 years of his life working towards his high school diploma through correspondence courses he completed over many nights in his truck’s sleeper or in his seat waiting at shippers’ yards.
The importance he placed of gaining knowledge drove him to become an educator himself – in the trucking industry as a driver trainer to start; and later as a proud OTA Road Knight, where he would travel the province giving lessons to young students about truck driving careers, the importance of safety on the road and ensuring the industry’s professionalism is always respected. He truly loved trucking and he spent many days of his life telling and showing others just how much the industry meant to him.
John Lougheed passed away on Oct. 4 of this year.
At the Ontario Trucking Association’s annual convention last week, John’s daughter, Donna Jursa, addressed a room full of attendees during a luncheon presentation to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Road Knights program. She explaining with great passion just how much being a Road Knight meant to her father.
“To my dad, this accreditation was more than just being a member of an elite group, it was a privilege to reach out to young people and promote an industry so vital to our economy and survival,” she said. “Watching my dad promote his love for this industry … he would express the beauty of the countryside, the interesting people you encounter daily and the importance of safe driving practices. His biggest joy was when he would take his truck to schools and let the children climb inside to see what it was like to be a truck driver.”
<< Be sure to read the complete version of Ms. Jursa’s speech, right here: Road Knight Speech_public >>
The speech highlighted all the reasons why OTA carriers should consider nominating one of their drivers to be on the next Road Knights team, which is made up of 10 professional truck drivers who exemplify all the best qualities of the industry’s driving force. Once selected, these men and women are the ambassadors of our industry to community and school groups as they promote trucking as a safe, professional industry to seek employment.
OTA is currently looking for new team members for the 2015-2016 term. To learn more about how to nominate a Road Knight or to make a donation to the John Lougheed memorial fund, please e-mail Lak Shoan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nomination forms can be downloaded at www.ontruck.org/road-knights/. The deadline for nominating a Road Knight is December 5, 2014.
OTA would like to thank Donna Jursa for her impassioned story and endorsement of the Road Knights program, as well as 2012-14 Road Knight team for two years a great and dedicated service. Great job! They are:
- Chris Bender, Steed Transport
- Rick Cameron, KBD Transport
- Barry Elkiw, Meyers Transport
- Dale Fearman, Kim-Tam Truck Leasing
- Jim Jackman, Thomson Terminals
- David O’Neill, Kriska Holdings
- Mike Paolozzi, Thomson Terminals
- Wayne Simpson, Liquid Cargo Lines
- George Sutherland, Bison Transport
- Cindy Sutherland, Bison Transport