BUXTON, Bert

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

Bert Buxton was born on his father’s sheep farm at Stradbroke near Sale in Victoria on 14 November in 1899.  Bert was the father of Eddie, Brian and Neil all of whom were born on the same farm. He was the grandfather of David and Michael. All three generations have been inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame.

Bert was educated at Stradbroke West State School and left when he was 15.  He then worked on a neighbour’s farm clearing bush land.  At 17 he purchased 250 acres that joined his father’s property and bought a bullock wagon and a team of 10 bullocks.  With this team Bert began to carry various goods such as firewood, fence posts, wattle bark, wool, hay and chaff around Stradbroke and Sale. On two occasions he carried oil drilling equipment from Sale railway station to what is now known as Holey Plains National Park.

Bert told his offspring stories about his days driving a bullock wagon.  He told of fast cars and trucks that he saw in the early 1920s and mentioned that these means of transport frightened his bullocks or blew the hat off his head as they sped past.

One product that he often carried was wattle bark which he delivered to a wharf on the Latrobe River near Sale to be then transported to Bairnsdale through the Gippsland lakes and rivers.

In 1928 his father passed away and as Bert was needed to help run the sheep farm he did less work with his bullock team finally giving up his transportation business altogether when his mother died in 1939.

Bert maintained his keen interest in road transport and must have been fascinated by how it developed and changed as he grew older.  It is no wonder that his three sons, two grandsons and three nephews followed in his footsteps and became transport operators, not as bullock team drivers, but as long distance truck drivers.  In 1989 Bert passed away at the age of 89.  He must have wondered how much bigger, how much more comfortable, stronger and faster will the trucks of the future be.