The last semi in the Ryley Grin’s big rig birthday parade on Saturday was Ryley’s “dad,” or grandfather, who surprised him with a dirtbike. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

The last semi in the Ryley Grin’s big rig birthday parade on Saturday was Ryley’s “dad,” or grandfather, who surprised him with a dirtbike. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

Aldergrove grandpa gets help from fellow truckers to surprise grandson with big rig birthday parade

Lower Mainland towers and truckers came together during COVID pandemic for Ryley Grin’s 10th birthday

An unusual sight on Saturday, wreckers flashing their lights and blasting their horns down 62 Avenue – was for young Aldergrove resident Ryley Grin.

“It’s a good thing there’s not a lot of accidents right now,” remarked Joe Berg, grandfather and legal guardian of the birthday boy.

Ryley turned 10 years old on Saturday (May 2).

Berg, whose driven long-haul for Aldergrove’s Quiring Towing and Recovery for nearly 8 years, was joined by other Lower Mainland trucker and tower friends in a big rig birthday parade for his grandson.

Ryley admitted – just before the noon procession – he only knew of two people that were going to stop by to wish him a happy birthday.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on gatherings and closed schools in B.C., limiting the options Ryley had for a birthday party.

But, unbeknownst to Ryley, more than a dozen big rigs, wreckers, and vehicles were about to drive by his home for his big day.

His grandmother and him took in the sight from Berg’s elevated flatbed. They waved right back.

Ryley was handed $20 in cash and cards by a few of the paraders.

The socially distant birthday parade was organized by Quiring Towing’s office manager, dispatcher Margaret Houle, and her daughter Chelsea-Lynn O’Reilly.

Houle acted as the middle woman, grabbing the gifts, and handing them at an arm’s length to Ryley.

Houle explained why so many of the truckers turned around to parade again for Ryley once their route was finished.

“We thought that maybe the road was blocked,” Houle remarked, “But they just wanted to blow their horns again.”

READ MORE: Thank you Langley truck drivers, who face long journeys alone in age of COVID-19

The last semi in the parade – a recognizable white Freightliner – was driven by his grandfather, “dad” Joe Berg. 

The 10-year-old gasped when he saw a brand new dirt bike attached to the back of his cab.

Berg jumped out of his cab to take in the excited expression on his grandson’s face.

“I have two broken quads and I feel like I’m about to have a broken dirt bike,” Ryley said aloud.

Al Quiring, a son of the Quiring family business, said “pretty soon every kid in the neighbourhood will want a parade of big trucks.”


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