Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2008.William John Atkins (Bill) was born in 1938 in the south-east of South Australia. He lived at Padthaway Station and Lake Roy Station as a child and was always fascinated with trucks and motor cars.
He met his wife June in Loxton in late 1959 and started driving for Max Jones subbying for Kennelly's Transport in Adelaide. After Kennelly, Bill worked for Frank Sheppard driving wine tankers and then for George Devitto carting oranges in a Super Beaver. He also worked for Ern Anderson of Loxton.
Later, Bill moved to Adelaide and drove for Coulsons Transport in a 1481 Mercedes and for Dean Jordan Transport before owning three of his own trucks: an R600 Mack Flintstone, a White 4000 and a G88 Volvo. He then went driving for Ray Singleton Transport in Adelaide before he took off over to the west in his dual-cab Dodge tray-top and 30 foot caravan to work in the mines at Meekatharra driving dump trucks. He soon missed life on the road so went to work for his brother Kevin, on the Woodie-Woodie run, on the old road for two years, driving a Mack Superliner towing triple-end tippers before the mine closed down for the first time. He then went on to drive for Doug Parkes of Centralian Transport in Alice Springs in another Superliner doing the usual stuff out of Alice Springs and Adelaide before returning to Adelaide and working for Bunker Freight Lines and Cleveland Freight Lines driving roadtrains on the Sydney to Perth run for a few years.
Bill then drove for G.F. & R.J. Milthorpe from Corowa, NSW for another ten years mostly in a series of Kenworth T904s which he really enjoyed. After 50 years of driving, Bill retired in November 2009.
He was a true gentleman of the highway.