Trucking industry icon’s life celebrated with memorial convoy

Ray Scott Front Page Tbj 3276  TBW Newsgroup

Ray Scott Funeral Mt Gambier TBW Newsgroup
FITTING FAREWELL: Ray Scott’s coffin was carried on one of his iconic Raymond Scott Transport trucks through the outskirts of Mount Gambier following an emotional service at his shed on Saturday. Picture: FRANK MONGER

IN A fitting tribute to a Mount Gambier city icon, hundreds of people lined the streets of the city outskirts on Saturday to bid farewell to Raymond Walter Scott as family, friends and dozens of trucks joined his final convoy.

His coffin – adorned in the Scott’s livery – was mounted on the rear of his beloved Western Star truck as the public was given its chance to say a final goodbye.

Ray, aged 70, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 13 following a long and brave battle with cancer.

The sounds of honking trucks and a low-flying plane filled the air across Mount Gambier on Saturday as the community paid respects to Ray, a trucking icon in his own right following in the footsteps of his father Allan Scott OAM.

The convoy followed an emotional funeral service held at Ray’s shed on the Princes Highway, which was broadcast live on social media as COVID-19 restrictions restricted physical attendance.

Among those to speak at the service was close friend Barney McCusker who described Ray as Friday’s child.

“Raymond Walter Scott was born on May 5, 1950 – it was a Friday and Friday’s child is loving and giving,” Mr McCusker said.

“For the next 70 years and two months, that is exactly how Ray Scott lived the most extraordinary of lives underpinned by those two principles, loving and giving.”

Praising the community for its outpouring support, pallbearer Bob Sandow said Saturday was a memorable farewell for a trucking magnate.

“The manner in which our community supported the final journey of trucking magnate Ray Scott is something that will be always remembered by the Scott family,” Mr Sandow said.

“For each and every one of us it was a fitting send off for a politically incorrect gentleman.”

Colleague and friend Peter Gandolfi described Ray as a down-to-earth bloke who made a massive contribution to the community.

“We would have a laugh, he’d always call a spade a spade and he was always a friend,” Mr Gandolfi said.

Mount Gambier speedway legend Bill Barrows developed a close bond with Ray over the years due to their shared love of motorsport.

“In recent years we have enjoyed a great friendship which started when Ray asked for my advice when he wanted to purchase a sprint car,” Mr Barrows said.

“A few weeks before Ray’s death we spent an enjoyable afternoon travelling to the farm at Kongorong in his Toyota Supra.

“Ray said what he thought, whether or not it was politically correct and I respected him for that.”

Extending his condolences to family and friends of Ray, Mount Gambier Racing Club president John Fartch reflected on the years of support his family had offered to the racing industry.

“Although Ray was not a passionate horse racing person, with his business acumen he could see the employment, social and economic benefits of racing to Mount Gambier and surrounds and was proud to carry on his father’s legacy to the Mount Gambier Racing Club,” Mr Fartch said.

“He was a great support to myself and the club over recent years and will be sorely missed.”

Ray served as a mentor to many, including Member for Barker Tony Pasin who described his close friend as a great Australian.

“He was always focused on the national interest and how we continue to build a better Australia by protecting the values that have made this nation great,” Mr Pasin said.

“I’m lucky to have had a personal relationship with Ray and I am a better person for having known him just as our country and our local community are better for his contribution to it.”

Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell said he admired Ray’s strength and character, which showed through in the toughest of times.

“He was a man I had the utmost respect for,” Mr Bell said.

“Ray deeply cared for our community and that extended to those of us that call it home.

“There are many people, industries and events in our region that benefited greatly from his involvement, generosity and love.”

Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin said Ray would be remembered for his commitment to Mount Gambier and thanked him for maintaining his business interests in the city.

“Ray was very proud of his fleet and as his rigs traverse Australia, I believe they are a wonderful advertisement for Mount Gambier,” she said.

“Ray will be remembered as hard working and generous and leaves his legacy through his support of many organisations and members of our community in a variety of ways over many years.”

Grant District Mayor Richard Sage said the community had lost another statesman, a true gentleman and friend.

“I have only come to know the Scott family after becoming Mayor of Grant District Council some 10 years ago, I have respected and valued Ray’s friendship and support over this time,” Mr Sage said.

“You can see from the tributes to Ray from all over the world from friends, acquaintances and the corporate world, their comments are testament to the great man he was, so much respect shown to him.”

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said it had been moving to see the impact Ray had on his local community.

“Ray Scott was and always will be synonymous with the trucking industry in South Australia,” Mr Marshall said.

“Both Ray and his father’s contribution to the industry will be remembered for many years to come.”

Ray is survived by wife Jill, children and children in law Ashley and Tammie, Prue and Bill, Libby and Ben and grandchildren Lachie, Alex, Parker, Ellie, Harrison, Sam and Stella.