Mount Isa trucking legend Mal Cleary was farewelled with a salute of trucks at his funeral on Wednesday,
Mr Cleary died on Saturday aged 84 and had an appropriate send off as his funeral cortege passed his old yards on Duchess Rd.
The cortege slowly drove down Duchess Rd with many workers in the area pausing to pay respects before passing the yards where five RTA Mack prime movers were lined up with other trucks while many mourners waited by the side of the road.
After doing a u-turn and then pausing outside the yards for a few moments, the cortege then moved on to a private burial.
Mal and his late wife Dawn Cleary are in the National Transport Hall of Fame.
Mal Cleary arrived in Cloncurry in 1956 and was soon asked by a local contractor to take on the Cloncurry to Canobie Station Mail run which generally took around three months to complete.
The nearby Mary Kathleen mine had recently been opened and the young Mal invested in a 1948 three ton Austin and began carting goods from Cloncurry to Mary Kathleen mine site.
Mal met and married Dawn and in 1960 the couple moved to Mount Isa with their young children, Les, Rose, Robert and Noel. Another son, Greg was born in Mount Isa. During this time they carted gravel for Thiess Bros. in the Barkly and Richmond Shires.
In 1961 they took on the Camooweal to Lake Nash Mail run which later became the Mount Isa to Lake Nash Mail run and operated this run for 34 years. They also haul fuels and goods to Doomadgee Mission from their Golden Fleece Depot in Mount Isa. Later the Clearys moved into livestock transport. MJ Cleary & Co. soon expanded their fleet to seven Kenworth prime-movers trailing forty decks of cattle.
The couple only went into retirement in the early 2010s and were true legends of the transport industry where they have worked and given their all for over nearly 60 years.
Dawn Cleary passed away in 2017.
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