Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2008.
The trucking industry has occupied three generations of the Bourke family, from the horse and lorry days through to the modern trucks of today, spanning collectively nearly one hundred years of hard work and dedication to the industry.
Firstly there was James Harold Bourke 1899 - 1963. At 16 years of age James carted bricks for Auburn and Tooranga Brick Works. His mother would hold the lively horses while he harnessed up for a hard day's work with his three-horse team. And, it all had to be loaded by hand in those days.
James upgraded to trucks in 1936, a Maple Leaf Chev Tipper. He would tell how he would go down to the local creek and load up sand with a shovel until the tipper was full; darned hard work. During his hard-working life he worked with two Maple Leaf Chevs and other makes and models.
His son followed in his father's footsteps starting with a Maple Leaf tipper in 1959 followed by a KB5 International and other trucks (other Internationals, Commer Knocker, Ford 700). He had these until the late 1960s. His wife used to drive the truck occasionally. In those days women didn't do that sort of work as well as raise a family. The work involved carting clay for Tooronga and Auburn Brick Works.
In the 1970s John changed to semis. He'd had enough mud and slush and wanted a truck that would stay clean for a while. He started off with a long nose 1418 Mercedes Benz and also a cab-over Benz. "They were great trucks and just kept going." They were carting three and a half ton paper reels for Australian Paper Mills. Each had to be barred in place and it was very heavy manual work, then the load had to be tarped. He then purchased a Kenworth S2 and was from then was totally converted to Kenworth trucks.
Both of John's sons, Anthony and Chris got the 'bug' and went into the trucking industry.
They had various semis and now both have Kenworth T900s. Transport lives on the lives of the Bourke Family.