Former colleagues of a long-serving NRMA patrolman have paid a touching tribute to their co-worker by escorting his hearse through Sydney.
Barry Wilson worked for the roadside assistance service for 28 years and was much-loved with at least 300 people turning up for his funeral service on Monday.
What made the service even more emotional were the dozens of NRMA patrol cars surrounding his hearse as it made its way through the streets on the way to Pinegrove Memorial Park in Minchinbury, in Sydney’s west.
Mr Wilson’s death was deeply mourned by locals and his colleagues, after the 55-year-old lost a battle with a rare blood disease he contracted during surgery for an unrelated injury.
NRMA workers turned out in droves to farewell their colleague Barry Wilson after he died from a rare blood disease
Patrolmen from the local area, who worked alongside Barry for 28 years were covered by their colleagues from the south of Sydney so they could take the time off work to attend the service
His boss and co-worker Tim Moggridge told Daily Mail Australia he was ‘really popular’ among the co-workers – and his local community.
‘Baz was just that real knockabout bloke from Western Sydney,’ he said.
‘He loved his cars, he loved a beer – a humble guy, a true Mount Druitt boy. You’d go to his house and everyone would be “Hi Barry, hey Barry,” – everyone knew him.
‘He loved to help people, he epitomised that.’
Mr Moggridge said an NRMA escort is offered for all deceased former or current employees, but the turnout for Barry was particularly high.
‘Barry was a current employee who became sick, and so he was well known,’ he said.
‘He worked in the north west of Sydney, and he’d been there for the whole 28 years.’
The patrol cars met at a central location, surrounding the hearse as it toured past his home and on to Pinegrove Memorial Park.
Many joined the hearse procession in their patrol cars as it travelled past his house and to Pinegrove Memorial Park (pictured)
More than 300 people attended the funeral, including dozens of NRMA staff (pictured)
Barry was hailed on social media as a skilled mechanic and good friend to all
Mr Moggridge explained employees had come up from the south of Sydney to allow their northern colleagues to attend the service.
‘It’s coming up to 95 years [of the NRMA], so there’s a bit of brotherhood… a fallen comrade so to speak,’ he said.
Mourners on social media hailed the man as a skilled mechanic and good friend to all.
One woman, who appears to be his sister, left a touching tribute to a man who was averse to fuss and bother and will be deeply missed.
‘I’m sure you’re looking from above, thinking what’s all this fuss about,’ Kathryn Williams wrote.
‘Your memory lives on, and this is a testament of your friendships, the people who honoured you and respected you.
‘You gave so much to all and they today blessed you and sent you on your way. I lost count at 300 people.’
Many NRMA patrolmen paid tribute to the loyal employee by printing his name on their cars (pictured)