Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Bill Barry first started truck driving in 1953 at 14 years of age as a back up driver. From that point he was never out of the game until his retirement. During the 50s and 60s he drove a Commer Knocker with 28 ft trailers from Melbourne to Sydney alongside other transport pioneers such as Lindsay Fox and Ted Phillips.
From 1975 to 1979, Bill with his wife Edna, ran their own transport business until they eventually succumbed to the strain of financial hardship. Bill often reminisces about the past, remembering the mates he has lost, and marvels at the fact that he has come out of it with his health intact.
In the 1950s Bill drove, in a variety of trucks including a ‘28 Chev and ‘46 Ford and eventually a nice new modern ‘52 Austin, from Mildura to Melbourne for the Adam’s family. He later worked at the Eildon Weir project driving assorted Internationals and then a Euclid.
He continued to drive a wide variety of trucks during his working life and was acknowledged on the road as one of those blokes who could drive anything. When the young guns couldn’t get something going or wanted a bit of advice, it was old timers like Bill to whom they turned. With very few roadhouses to rely on, meals were prepared on the roadside by the campfire. A steak cooked on the shovel blade and a fresh billy of tea was the standard order of most mornings.
In later years Bill worked for the Douglas Sauce Factory driving a 1951 Kew Dodge
and then for Maskelle & Gribbon in a 1952 Ford Tipper.
In 1959 Bill bought his own Commer Knocker but soon found work as a driver preferable so worked for Fitzpatricks, Blakestons, AR Niel, Bayview Quarries, Sam Sali Transport and others before deciding to become an owner-operator again. In 1975 he operated his own UD and G88 Volvo. Bill is retired these days and lives in Melbourne.