The front of beloved truck driver Bryan Menefy’s funeral procession reflected his love for all things Mack.
Engines revved and horns blared as a leading figure in New Zealand’s transport industry was bid farewell by the community on Saturday.
Menefy Trucking General Manager Bryan Menefy died June 22 at the age of 57 after a fierce five-year battle with motor neuron disease.
The guard of honor began at around 20 vehicles which set off from Menefy’s house, with his casket mounted on his prized Mack Superliner truck leading from the front.
Outside the Malden Street Mack retailer, Menefy’s favorite truck brand, the numbers rose as truckers from across the region came to join the motorcade, sounding horns and engines to throngs of onlookers.
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Jane Southee, a close friend of Menefy, said many attendees jumped into their cars to follow the grand procession.
“He was so loved in the trucking community. Truckers from all over the region and beyond came to see him. I haven’t seen such a funeral since the death of Lloyd Lampp.
Menefy had owned and operated Menefy Trucking Company since 1997, which over the years had gradually grown into a multi-vehicle transport company covering the lower part of the North Island.
Southee had known Menefy for more than four decades and said he had sponsored her drag racing cars in the past.
“He loved his stock cars and had this huge collection of trucks and Fords. Everyone who worked with him remembers him as this huge presence who was always ready to help.”
Murray Sowerby got to know Menefy through his role at Motor Trucks Distributors, selling him parts and trucks. Originally a business relationship, he says, which gradually turned into a deep friendship.
“He was quite a reserved guy. He wasn’t that outgoing, but he was just a very genuine, friendly, hard-working man with a great sense of humor.
“Whatever he did, be it racing cars or driving trucks, it was all done to a high standard. He was very proud of what he was doing.”
Sowerby described the send-off as more of an event than a funeral, but said it was something Menefy would have liked to see.
“It was a tremendous send off for a man so dedicated to his company and the industry at large. It was as good as it could have been.
Menefy’s obituary remembered him as an “incredible nephew and friend to his extended family”.
“We will always remember Bryan for his love and dedication to Fords and all of his accomplishments in the worlds of trucking and speed.