Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
William Charles Gurney McCombe known as’Charlie’ McCombe was born in Casterton in January 1929; he is the husband of Shirley McCombe. ln 1946 at the age of 17 he began driving for his father (Clem) trading as C.C McCombe &Son making him the 4th generation McCombe involved in road transport. Charlie began driving a K6 lnternational carrying wood, superphosphate and wool. Later the same year a wooden stock crate was made for the K6 and a four wheel trailer.
ln 1954 a new 1182 lnternational prime mover was purchased with a second-hand 36ft Freighter single axle trailer and crate for livestock cartage. ln 1959 a new F600 Ford was purchased then in 1961 this was replaced with another F600 Ford which unfortunately burnt to the ground just three weeks later. ln 1963 a new RL90 lnternational was purchased, which at the time was the truck to have then this was replaced in 1969 with a new C1800 ACCO with a 392 V8 petrol motor with a 40ft load master bogie trailer with stock crate. Clem passed away in 1971 who at the time was operating with a C1800 ACCO with a 20ft tray for livestock. Charlie acquired the truck and began trading, quickly employing his first full time driver to drive the semi which was predominately on a contract carting livestockfrom Victoria and South Australia to MC Herd meat works in Geelong Victoria.
ln 1973 a new lnternational ‘A’ cab ACCO with a 555 Cummins was purchased followed, in 1977, by a new Atkinson with a NTC 290 Cummins. It was bogie drive with full sleeper and side lockers. He sold the tray truck and drove the semi himself finally selling out to English Transport in July 1982 having held the MC Herd contract for 37 years. On his last trip Charlie was presented with an engraved stubby, coffee mug and card from the Batesford Roadhouse which he ate at from the night it was opened.
Charlie started driving a school bus which he purchased, along with the contract, from Baudinettes in Coleraine in January 1983. He drove the Nareen to Casterton school route. The Austin bus was eventually replaced by a Melba bus body on an lsuzu chassis in 1986. Charlie retired in 1996 after completing 50 years in the road transport industry. In 2013 Charlie is now retired but still well remembered and respected throughout the modern day road transport industry.