Monday, July 15, 2024

Still sharp after 94 years: retired Trucker receives special birthday gift from his family

Al Carmichael received a special gift for his 94th birthday: the transfer of one of his best professional photos, painted by hand onto a keepsake saw by artist Waldi de Souza of Bancroft, Ontario.

All photos courtesy of Sharon Carmichael


Avard Carmichael of Bowmanville, Ontario is celebrating 94 years full of living in June. Although his full name is Avard, all of his friends know him as “Al” or “AB.”

The original photo of Al Carmichael and the Esso tanker he drove, used as the basis for the saw painting.

“At his workplace, everyone called him AB; even his uniform was embroidered ‘AB’,” explains his daughter Sharon Carmichael.

In 1951, Al arrived in Ontario from River Hebert, Nova Scotia.

One of Al’s life and career highlights was working for AVRO, on the CF-100 fighter jets. He worked on the hydraulics and flying controls in the tail section, and saw the first test flight of the Avro Arrow.

Al started working with Imperial Oil Esso in September 1955, when he began driving fuel oil to homes in Toronto. Beginning in 1956, he re-fueled the airplanes for Esso and then in 1962 he went on the road driving truck delivering to agents. In 1965 he was driving the ‘A’ trains until he retired in January 1985. Today at age 94, he is still driving his own personal vehicle and keeps busy with friends and family.

Al’s advice to young people just starting their careers is about attitude:

“Attitude is the most important thing in driving a big rig. You must love to drive! Being a defensive driver is essential. Pay attention at all times, stay alert, never take your eyes off the road. Remember, your mirrors are your best friend!

“It takes a special person to be a good driver. You will learn something new every day.”

Some of Al Carmichael’s many safety awards with Esso.
Family travelled all the way from Nova Scotia to wish retired Trucker Al Camichael a happy 94th birthday.