Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Doug Lever started his working life driving a concrete agitator in Melbourne. In 1958 he returned home to Wollongong. With help from his parents, he purchased an Inter S162 tabletop to carry bricks between Wollongong and Sydney. At this time Doug’s mother was managing his, and brother Alan’s, business affairs.
Doug’s wife, Dawn, was very active in the business. She took over the operations of Doug’s trucking business at just 16 years of age. Along with administration, Dawn was also introduced to mechanical repairs and the cleaning and maintenance of the vehicles. Over the next 19 years, Dawn and Doug operated Lever Freight Lines doing everything from tipper trucks to interstate haulage. The fleet varied from a 16 Bedford, an S Bedford, an AA 182 International, F86 Volvo, S Model Kenworth and a K100 Kenworth. The use of CB Radios was illegal at this time and Doug played a major role in the campaign that successfully had the radios legalised. In 1977 they moved to Queanbeyan where they purchased the Canberra/Queanbeyan school and route services with a total of 11 buses. This was the beginning of Lever Coach Lines and soon they had a fleet of 40 buses and coaches.
Doug’s love of the outback saw him operating safari tours to Alice Springs and Darwin. He used Domino Coaches with American running gear and imported the first Eagle Coach, outside the Greyhound Network, from the USA. Dawn looked after administration, tour co-ordinations and travelled as hostess and cook. Lever CoachLines were selected by the Australian Parliament as the transport co-ordinator for visiting dignitaries including the King of Spain, Pope John Paul II, President George Bush Snr and President Bill Clinton. Doug served as Chairman of the Bus and Coach Association in the ACT while Dawn represented them in Sydney.
Doug and Dawn sold out intending to retire, but on request of daughter Karen and her husband Peter, they moved to Bega in 2000. Doug and Dawn, Karen and Peter purchased Bega Valley Coaches which operates route and school services as well as some local and extended tour options.