HANCOCK, Charles

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.

Charles Forsyth Hancock, known as Charlie, is among the more well known  pioneers of road transport down the South East Coast of Australia. His father,  Charles Forsyth Hancock Snr, had founded Hancock’s Transport in 1926 at Pambula.  It was inevitable that Charles Jnr, otherwise known as ‘Splitpin’, would follow in his father’s footsteps. Born in 1927, Charles grew up in the trucking business and loved travelling with his father and driving whenever he had a chance. As a child he spent his spare time loading fish on the wharf at Eden and, as soon as he was legally able, he got behind the wheel himself.

After the family moved to Lakes Entrance in 1946, the Hancock’s fleet quickly grew to seven prime movers. When the Victorian Government granted Hancock’s a licence to transport fish direct to the Melbourne Fish Market from Lakes Entrance the monopoly on freight in Victoria by the railways was broken.  At an enormous cost to the company, Hancock’s played a major role in the abolition of road tax in Victoria and other states.

Despite many challenges Hancock’s went on to become Australia’s largest transporters of fresh fish with over 65 prime movers at its peak. Very few have held a heavy articulated license along the South East Coast as long as Charlie. He started driving at  just 16 and retired at 83. There are also few who can claim to have travelled the millions of kilometres that he has over that time - nearly seventy years! Charlie has experienced many changes in that time especially in technological advancements. Gone are the days when, as a boy he had to crush ice by hand in order to cover fish in which Hancock’s lively cream and red trucks were renowned for carting.  Although he has gone on to embrace technology, some things haven’t changed for Charlie. He says; always take your own tucker and plenty of blanks, load on as much as you feel you can get away with and, ensure that you always have polished boots.

Charlie is known as a ‘gentlemen of the road’ and epitomises the definition of the ‘true Aussie battler’. He has experienced all in which this tough industry has to offer.  Charlie’s wife Shirley has been a pillar of support during their marriage and has stood by him through the ups and downs. The Hancock family and the local Lakes Entrance community are proud of Charlie for his lifelong contribution to road transport.

 

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