BEE, Brian

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.

 Brian was 15 when he left school to join his father in a family business from Keysbrook WA, purchasing a 5ton Thorny Croft Sturdy for the pricey sum of 2300pounds, in which he did his first of many crossings to Sydney. In 1951 Brian started carting to and from Pt. Cloates whaling station near Exmouth WA.  In 1953 they updated to an AEC Monarch.  In the dry season he carted manganese from Peak Hill to Meekatharra. In 1953/4 Brian drove for Bell Brothers Earthmoving Watson to Maralinga carting road base and then he moved back to Meekatharra to cart chromite.

In 1956 he and his wife Lyn moved to Wittenoom where the first 2 of their 6 children were born. He carted the asbestos to Pt. Samson for the next 2 years. In late 1958 they moved down to Perth to start carting general and chilled freight in their new Mercedes L330 to and from Wittenoom.

In January 1966 he started carting cars in his AEC Mandator from Adelaide to Perth, mainly Valliants. The first load was for the Skipper/Jeep dealership in WA.

In late 1966 he packed up the family and moved to Adelaide where for the next 13 years he continued to travel from one side of the island to the other; carting cars and then tyres and conveyor belts for Goodyear from Sydney to Perth and the north west of WA. The return trips were usually Jarrah and Karri Timber from the south west of WA. In the shearing season he would cart wool bales from Arubiddy station near Cocklebiddy to Adelaide over 1000 miles of mainly dirt. In that time he changed trucks, from his AEC to a Volvo F88 then a Volvo G89 and finally he brought a Kenworth K125.

In 1979 he and most of his brood returned to Keysbrook, with Lyn by his side he continued driving interstate. In 1990 Reader’s Digest contacted him and wrote a story about his 1130 crossings of the continent which works out to be quite a few kilometres. In the mid 90s he became a sub-contractor haulier for Boral Transport.

Finally in 2000 he retired from driving to live at Keysbrook and be a farmer for a while. Five of his six children followed in his footsteps and have driven trucks to many destinations around Australia, only 1 refused to get a truck licence.