BROOKS Snr, Wilfred

Wilfred Snr known as Coppa

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2015

Wilfred Brooks Snr (known as Bill or Coppa) was born in 1905 and begun his working life servicing windmills; a talent in which he soon became an expert. In 1936 he moved his wife Dorothy and family to Cooladdi west of Charleville on the Quilpie road. Bill tendered for and won the mail run contract from Cooladdi to Wellclose Station. He also ran some stock. Jim’s first truck, a Dodge, was used to carry wool from Nimboy Station to the Cooladdi railhead.

The business was known originally as W Brooks before it was changed it to Brooks & Son in the 1960s after his son Billy joined the business as a ‘gate opener’. Over time the Brooks fleet of trucks grew from an InternationalL160 to a R180with a 32 foot single trailer for moving sheep and cattle in the local area and a 7 ton Commer; both painted in the company colours of red and white.

Around 1945,Coppa purchased a second mail run, along with the local store and Post Office. It was a diverse business. Dorothy ran a boarding house and provided refreshments for the train passengers. Coppa saw the need to shift stock to the rail and Charleville saleyards and invested in his first semi-trailer, an AS model International with R6 Perkins motor.

Floods occurred annually with the Quilberry Creek breaking its banks. The entire depot and yards would become an inland sea, so patience became a necessary requirement. In 1956 a new International truck sat looking dejected at the Cooladdi depot while the water subsided.

IN 1968 Coppa and his family moved into a depot in Hilda Street, Charleville. By then their fleet consisted of one Mack roadtrain, two International roadtrains and two International single semis. In 1976 they changed colours to turquoise green.

By 1978 the name was changed to Brooks Bros and the fleet comprised 10 vehicles, all of which carried livestock and freight nationwide. Coppa took Billy and his brother as partners in the business and he himself remained a full partner in the business until his passing 2000. By that time his two grandsons were also involved in the family freight business.