WHEELHOUSE, Cliff

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

Cliff Wheelhouse was born in Inglewood in 1938. He left school aged 12 to drive a 1934 Bedford carting wood and posts from near his home in Wehla. He left home aged 18 to live and work at the flour mill in St Arnaud.

Turning 19 he sold his car and borrowed 500 pounds from an old retired friend and purchased a 1957 International tipper to work for the CRB in Horsham. Cliff worked across the Mallee carting gravel. There was no accommodation and the workers slept in tents for months on end. This at least paid off as there were few expenses and earnings were saved.

Cliff was then able to buy a 1959 Ford F600 and moved to Bridgewater where he met his future wife Pam who still recalls going to the drive-in theatre and being told to park down the back so people could see.

Cliff’s people skills and uncanny ability to read the market saw the business grow to the point where he purchased an Albion in 1965 and a Leyland Commer in 1968. He quickly out grew his yard so he purchased 10 acres out of town and built a workshop and shed where his family would live until the house was built.

Cliffy, as his mates referred to him, was known in the area for his honesty and tireless work in the community. In 1975 he saw an opportunity in the fertilizer industry and as the years passed the business grew to four depots with larger storage and weigh bridges installed. The fleet was mainly Kenworths. In 2000 garden supplies and agronomic services were added to the business which is now directed by his sons Jason and Wes. Today Cliff spends his time out on his property in Wehla.

In 59 years in the transport industry through determination, loyalty and courage and a lifetime of support from his wife Pam, Cliff’s business is respected in the community and throughout the transport and fertiliser industries.