Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
Bill Ferguson’s grandfather started the carrying business in the late 1800s in Avenel. His father continued until Bill took over in 1950. Bill is still running the business today at the age of 78.
Bill has been doing this job for over 60 years and loves every minute of it. He is known by all to be punctual, caring of livestock and ready to work at any hour day or night as well as always being at the ready to lend a helping hand. In 1948 Bill was driving an old Bedford cutting and carting fire-wood to Melbourne.
1953 saw a new Bedford S-model with an 18 foot stock crate. Bill used Bedfords until 1962 when he purchased his first International followed by three more over the years. Then came 2 Kenworths and back to an International3600 S-line powered by a Detroit Series 60 engine. In 2004 Bill bought a new Iveco Powerstar Automatic which is his current truck. Bill has regular clients in the Ivanhoe district of western New South Wales and has been carting wool, sheep, cattle and stores for these families for nearly 30 years.
Bill says he started with his father as a 17 year old, carting stock to Newmarket, 80 lambs at a time in an old Bedford. Everything was cheap then, they charged about $28.25 a time. Petrol was cheap and a good meal could be had for 50 cents at an all-night café along Sydney Road.
Bill is famous for his ability to never lose any stock however far he drives. He told us that one time he left Longreach in the evening on a Saturday and reached Jerilderie at lunch time on Tuesday and never lost a sheep. Bill says, “It’s no good going crook at an animal, common sense and patience are required, you get on much better working with livestock that way, rather then trying to make them do it your way.” Bill Ferguson has travelled over 3,500,000 klms, and is still going. He is much admired by all who know him and is such an important link in the lives of so many people he has met.