Transport legend's big funeral

THE enormous respect that Clarence Valley transport pioneer Fred Cromack enjoyed in the district was evidenced on Saturday when more than 350 mourners packed into the Grafton Cathedral for his funeral.

A friend and business colleague of Mr Cromack, David Gilbert, read the eulogy. Poignantly it was his last sentence which best summed up the man so many had come to pay their last respects to.

It simply said: “Fred Cromack, a good husband, a good father and grandfather, a good man, a life well lived.”

As two big rigs sat outside the cathedral waiting to escort Mr Cromack's hearse, those inside heard about his life which started in Grafton in 1929.

His life in the transport industry started when he was just 15 years of age, when he went to work for his uncle.

His first mode of transport was a horse by the name of Dolly, which he hitched to a cart to bring loads of goods into Grafton from the wharf.

He got serious about starting his own business enterprise in 1951 when he started carting asbestos to Brisbane and beer to the west.

On his first trip to Sydney he got lost and had to ask a passer-by how to find the match factory.

He told him to follow the 417 bus, so that's exactly what he did.

Away from business, Fred had a love of sport and played hockey for many years. He even played hockey on his wedding day and his new wife wasn't happy when he showed up at the church suffering from concussion.

He married Margaret in 1952 and boasted that they'd only ever had one argument during all their 56 years of marriage.

“Unfortunately, he'd joke, that argument lasted 56 years.”

Fred Cromack is survived by his wife Margaret, two sons, Graeme and his wife Linda and Jeffrey and his wife Leanne and four grandchildren Tahlia, Chiveau, Brenton and Shayler.

'A good man,

a life well lived.'

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