Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Wickham Brothers born in Warwick, Queensland were Angus Sinclair on 4th December 1940 and Peter James on 22nd January 1942. Sadly Angus passed away suddenly on 29th November 1999, leaving his wife Clare, and daughters Angela and Tanya.
As teenagers in 1959 the brothers worked in the timber industry, Angus driving a EH Mack for RA Hoffman and Peter driving a GMC 6X6 for Cossart’s, until the credit squeeze in 1962 when their jobs disappeared overnight. Using their logging tractor, they cleared a patch of land on their father’s farm on Spring Creek Mountain, south-east of Killarney and planted their first crop of potatoes. This experiment was an instant life experience for them, given that nothing had been done like this on the steep country before. In their first year of operation the brothers planted five acres, dug them by hand, transported to Warwick railway in their first truck, a 1948 KB5International and exported them to PNG. By 1965 they were growing to 20 acres which they still hand-picked and packed directly into 50kg bags. Angus would take a fully loaded single drive Austin, and Peter a 182-International to the Brisbane Markets during the night and return to dig potatoes the next morning.
By 1973 the potato business had grown rapidly and was supplying Coles Supermarket. In 1978 their first Kenworth K125CR was purchased to transport produce from farms to the packing house and to Coles. In 1977 the brothers cut, snug and hauled Radiata Pine from Gambugal Forest to Killarney Pine Sawmill, which they purchased in 1982. Three Kenworths, including a C500 hauled logs, while three Kenworths K125s delivered sawn timber to Brisbane. Processing sheds, workshop, cold rooms and amenities were built as carting hanging meat commenced in 1983 using four Kenworth’s and a Volvo, this grew to 17 prime-movers by 1994. Peter’s wife Cheryl, now retired had always been the backbone of the company running the administration. Today 2013, Wickham Freight Lines fleet has 130 Kenworths, and can be seen every day of the week between Cairns and Adelaide.
Peter’s association with the industry has spanned 50 years,and the business now employs over 300 people and is now run by his children, the third generation of Wickhams. The boys are day to day hands on with trucks, while the girls are running administration. Peter and Angus’s family legacy lives on in a business that is truly Family owned and operated.