Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005.
While most people at the age of 72 (2005) are enjoying retirement, Rex Shiel was still driving the Melbourne to Sydney route twice a week. He was proving to himself and the rest of the trucking world just how devoted he was to the industry, and to Australia, delivering the everyday necessities that Aussies have taken for granted when they have been filling up their shopping trolleys or their cars.
9 158 400 is the approximate number of kilometres that Rex drove in his 53 year career on the highways. He clocked his first few hundred working in partnership with Bruce Panucci, from Sydney to Melbourne in 1948. Rex found himself working at Pauncci's for the next twelve years. In 1966, Bruce Panucci bought a Fruehauf petrol tanker and Rex started delivering fuel throughout the Riverina.
Brambles Bulk Haulage holds a special spot in Rex's heart and thoughts. Little did he know that when he started working for Brambles, in the summer of 1970, that it would be the most rewarding fulfilling 15 years of his life? The skills that Rex learned from Brambles helped him gain employment with Cootes Transport Group where he delivered LP Gas for the next 16 years. Rex continued to work for COotes up until 2004. Although his driving distances were not as long and his truck not as big, pride did not get in his way. Rex knew he had to start somewhere and for the next six years he pciked up parts and loaded tanks at Hastings and Dandenong refineries.
At 78 years of age, he finally decided that enough was enough and took his three months long service leave and holidays. Enjoying the relaxing life, Rex decided it was time to retire. He now enjoys spending his free time with his wife, children and six grandchildren.
The legacy of hard work has been passed down to his two sons and now his grandson, all working in the transport industry. Rex has well and truly earned his place on the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame.