Connecting and growing our communities.
ALREADY parents to two beautiful girls, when Bruce and Denise Emberson found they were pregnant with cojoined twins 22 years ago they decided to move closer to whānau at Denise's home territory of Nuhaka.
That was back in 2000. Although the girls made it to 37 weeks, twins Faith and Hope who shared a heart and lungs, died three days after they were born.
“Being near family helped us get through that, so we have stayed and managed to have two more lovely daughters, who are doing very well.”
These days a driver for Quality Roading and Services, Bruce came to the region with a work history of driving freight trucks in his former home city of Auckland.
Of course, two weekends ago he was out with the entire QRS crew helping clear the region of debris after storms struck. During the worst of the weather he helped clear trees off Mohaka Coach Road, shift slip material in Waikare Gorge, and tidy up toppled bluegums in Haliburton Rd, Kotemaori.
Bruce says the rainfall and river levels were so bad “if our bar hadn’t been opened who knows what Wairoa would have looked like?”
Like other QRS staff Bruce says emergency work never feels like a hardship as staff put the needs of the town and commuters first. “For a lot of us we feel like we are doing it for the community. It’s a priority, we get out there and do things. We put the community first.”
When he first came to Wairoa in 2000 he was known as “the bread truck man” driving for Walter Findlay and Meadow Fresh. He then drove for Pryde Contracting interspersed with work for AFFCO. “Even after all that I was looking for more opportunities, which is why I started with QRS in March of 2021,” he says.
“Training in wheels, tracks and rollers, traffic control, first aid and handling dangerous goods means you can be more than a truck driver . . . when you are needed you can hop out of the cab and grab a stop/go sign or get on the end of a broom.”
Living in Wairoa means Bruce and his whānau get to benefit from his son-in-law's hunting skills, and to enjoy the fishing and camping holidays he so loves. “Buying our own home was really special, too. We would never have been able to do that back in Auckland.”
And though he is now 58 years old, Bruce says he is still young at heart and loves how QRS has opened the door to continuous learning. “I'm always keen to further my skill base and you can't put a value on the opportunities for growth I have been offered. “I'm just enjoying myself every single day. It's magic.”
8 April 2022
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