Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.Leslie George (BILL) Laurie was born in Cobden Victoria on the 8th February 1929. He started driving trucks in Mt.Gambier in 1948 for Ern Bruhn, carrying limestone blocks locally and interstate, driving a Commer Knocker with a single axle trailer.
After two years he bought the truck and gradually built up to five trucks, carting wool, timber and limestone from Mt.Gambier to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and anywhere in between. Backloads were anything that would pay, eg steel from Newcastle, motor parts for G.M.H. and tomatoes for Rosella. All this freight was loaded by hand.
Bill's favourite truck was a 630 Diamond T which he bought brand new from Mount Gambier Motors. He was asked to take a speed boat to Melbourne but said he had no room so the customer offered to weld a tow ball on the back of the semi. When Bill got to the top of the Greenwald Hill and stopped to check the load there was no speed boat! It was parked in the bush back at the S.A. border.
During the late 50s Bill raced speedway and was renowned for a stunt at Borderline Speedway where he jumped over two hot rods in a car!
By the early 1960s he ran a Golden Fleece service station and in his spare time built a bogie drive back end from scratch for his brother-in-law's, George English, 530 Diamond T. He went cray fishing during summer and drove trucks in the winter time. During this period Bill engineered many trailers, scrub rakes and he built a low-loader complete with dolly for Jimmy Sutherland’s earthmoving business.
Bill worked for Eric Henke dozing and building scrub rakes for the dozers. When Eric bought 2 new 1418 Mercedes trucks to cart stock, Bill built 3 new trailers with stock crates, as well as building lazy axles for each Mercedes. When not manufacturing and maintaining he sometimes drove the stock crates as well
In his later years Bill returned to the limestone quarries driving a CAT dozer and working in the workshop till retirement then he took up flying a Jabiru with his own flying school.
Bill always looks forward….never back…there is always something new to learn!