BEASLEY, Eric

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.

Eric Beasley was born in 1924 in Western Australia. He joined the army during the Second World War and served in Townsville in a small boat division which requisitioned fishing trawlers to transport supplies to New Guinea and other outposts. After the war he drove taxis in Sydney, before moving to Melbourne in 1948.

It was in 1948 he drove his first truck; a D40 International for Roche Bros and his first interstate trip was transporting goods between Melbourne and Sydney.

Eric joined Don Glover in 1950 carrying goods from Melbourne to the Snowy River Mountains Scheme project. Later he drove stock crates for this company until 1968 when he decided to go into business for himself. He purchased an International 160 and carted light loads from Melbourne to Port Hedland eventually upgrading to Mercedes Benz, a marque he stayed with until he retired in his early 70s.

During his driving career Eric carted interstate for Express Freight for over 20 years. He would spend three weeks of every month on the road between Melbourne and Perth and did many trips delivering heavy equipment to the mines in the remote and isolated northern regions of Western Australia. Eric bragged that he drove 700 miles daily but as he approached retirement he would put his truck on the train at Port Augusta, ride to Kalgoorlie, and then drive on to Perth.

In the late 1970s Eric purchased an ex-Manufacturer’s Bottle Company Kenworth and employed a driver. Often Eric’s Mercedes and the Kenworth would pass each other going in opposite directions. He also purchased an International tray truck doing local work in Melbourne. The business became EV Beasley Pty Ltd in 1972.

Eric fondly recalled his close friend Graeme (Salty) Judson. They made many trips together enjoying the type of mateship that can only be formed by the isolation, long hours and hard work. They had many incidents including floods that saw them stranded. On one occasion Eric’s Mercedes was stuck in a swollen creek bed for a few days. Eric sat on the truck’s cab until the water subsided and they were amazed when the truck started and was able to continue.

By the time Eric had retired he’d travelled over a million miles between Perth and Melbourne, always doing his own mechanical work and often loading and unloading by hand.

In 2010, after a long illness, Eric Beasley passed away. He is remembered as an exceptional worker who gave his all to his job and his industry. He was a true friend and a credit to his industry and richly deserves his place on the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame.