Yard worker first to take prestigious Frasers award
HARD work, enthusiasm and a love of the job has seen 23-year-old Frazer Eastwell do what no other yard-worker has done before at Frasers Livestock Transport.
Before Christmas, at the trucking company's break-up celebrations, Mr Eastwell was named the winner of the Ross Williams Memorial Award, a prestigious employee-of-the-year honour that has historically been presented to someone from the large selection of experienced drivers the company employs.
Mr Eastwell said he was shocked when his name was called out.
"No one had any idea who the award would go to, and it's never gone to a yard-worker before so I was the last person expecting it would be me," he said.
"I was very surprised but managed to get up and go and collect the plaque from Ross Fraser.
"He asked me if I wanted to make a speech, but I'm not really a speech person, so I said no and thank you and went and sat down again."
Frazer's mum Fiona Eastwell said the reception from the crowd was fantastic.
"There was lots of clapping and slaps on the back," she said.
"No one was expecting that and the yard boys loved it.
"With Frazer getting it, it was kind of recognition for the whole yard team."
Mr Eastwell, 23, is the fourth generation with ties to Frasers.
His father Kris is a truck driver and grandfather David "Willy" McPhee is a night-shift yardsman for the company.
Before that, great- grandfather Bill used to service trucks for founder Charlie Fraser.
Mrs Eastwell said the truck washer's job was an important one.
"It's not that long ago, the drivers had to wash out their own trailers," she said.
"Having these guys to do those jobs allows those drivers who've been away for a few days a few extra hours with their families.
"They may be overlooked sometimes for all they do for the drivers and the company, but they work hard and it's great to see one of them take out this award.
"Frazer has Asperger's, and a lot of people wouldn't give him a job, but Frasers said, 'Yes mate, come on over, we'll find you a job'.
"He works hard, hasn't taken a sick day in four years and is always busy."
Frasers director Ross Fraser agreed.
"You never see Frazer idle," he said.
"He stood out for this award due to his enthusiasm for the job.
"If he's not washing trucks, he's mowing or emptying bins - he's very enthusiastic and we appreciate the work he does and the way he goes about it.
"Frazer is one of those guys who works well under direction and works equally well without direction, because he knows what he has to do - it was an absolute pleasure to be able to give him this award."
Mr Eastwell said he enjoyed being a part of the Frasers team.
"They treat me very well and I enjoy working with the guys and having a yarn and a beer with them after work on a Friday," he said.
"I'm thinking I'd like to get my truck licence in a few years, we'll see though.
"I'm enjoying what I'm doing and there's always something different from converting trailers between sheep and cattle and helping out at the sheep sale on Wednesday.
"I'll keep working hard and we'll see what happens.
"A big thanks to Frasers for giving me a job back then and now for this recognition."