The 116th car carrier is adorned with a portrait of Haralds Sīmanis

Continuing the tradition of decorating the Kurbads car carrier fleet with exceptional personalities, characters of myth and legend or signs signalling Latvian might, the 116th car carrier’s cab will feature a portrait of the singular Latvian songwriter Haralds Sīmanis.

As usual, we wanted to adorn the latest addition to our fleet with an image that is special and meaningful to us – the energy and spirit of which are in step with our values. One such image is that of the late, well-known Latvian songwriter Haralds Sīmanis. He stamped a very personal imprint on each of our hearts, so we wanted to honour the artist by ornamenting our newest car with his portrait.

Alfreds Paulausks, Kurbads artist, reveals that it took a very long time to develop the portrait because it is extremely detailed. However, he admits that if the job would have been twice as long, he would do it without a second thought. “Once I saw the photograph, I knew immediately that it was just what I needed – the perfect light, the look and the movement that’s so characteristic of Haralds. It was a tremendous responsibility for me to be portraying him, because only recently we were standing by the stage singing along to his gorgeous songs. I see Haralds as an extraordinary phenomenon in Latvian music and – without getting bogged down in terminology – as a rock star. And that’s how I portrayed him,” says A. Paulausks.

In the beginning, the work of decorating the car carrier was no plain sailing, because the author of the photo deemed most suitable, which was come upon online, needed to be found. A big thank you to our friends who helped us do it! It turns out that Haralds’ striking portrait, which will adorn one of the car carriers, was painted in Cēsis, his hometown. After a long search, thanks to Ilze Grunte, we managed to learn that the photographer is Mārtiņš Otto and the photo session took place in Fonoklubs, where Haralds was a frequent and special guest.

Jānis Sildniks, owner of Fonoklubs in Cēsis, says of his relationship with Haralds: “Fonoklubs in Cēsis established a relationship with Haralds Sīmanis as early as 2012, when the singer-songwriter stopped by for the opening concert of his album I am the Morning (Es esmu rīts). Unfortunately, in autumn 2022, the presentation of his album In circles (Pa apli) at Fonoklubs turned out to be his last concert, which came to close in a cosy and soulful atmosphere with the audience singing along to the song “Lake” (“Ezers”). It is vital to honour our heroes, and Haralds Sīmanis is nothing less than a hero of the Latvian stage, so we are happy about Kurbads initiative to keep Sīmanis alive both musically and, in this case, visually.”

This is only further proof that the great man and his wonderful heart is cherished all over and honoured in the hearts of countless people. We hope that this serves as yet another way to immortalise Haralds’ spirit and pay respects to his character for a long time to come, so that everyone can feel his kind presence whenever they see our car carrier.

We trust that Haralds’ fortitude will protect us and his wisdom will accompany our drivers on their long journeys across the highways of Europe. Perhaps one day his image will be the stuff of legends, and passers-by will ask “Who is this big man possessing the energy of a mighty spirit?” It is no coincidence that Haralds used to say of himself that he is known by many, but truly understood only by a few.

The fate of the human soul is to depart, but the light and warmth it leaves behind remain and live on forever. May the light of Haralds show the way in the darkest nights, and may the vigour of his spirit accompany us on our journey and protect all drivers, watching on from above.

The reins of the 116th truck driver are entrusted to our driver Viesturs Latkovskis.