Kenneth Charles Hobbs, known as “Hobbsie”, was born in Gympie, Queensland in 1933. As a young lad he had a love for trucks, machinery, and cars, and would often visit his uncle and cousin at their transport business in Kempsey, New South Wales. In 1948 Hobbsie’s first job took him to Wildman’s Sawmill in Toowoomba, Queensland where he gained his Crane Operator’s Certificate and in 1952 he was conscripted to National Service. The following year, Hobbsie married Dorothy. They moved to a property at Columboola, Queensland in 1955 where he worked at transporting wheat into depots and cattle to sale yards.
Hobbsie purchased a mail contracting business in Texas, Queensland in 1961 running between Texas and Stanthorpe and for which he purchased a new red 1962 Ford 150 Freighter truck. At the end of 1962 he sold the mail contract and branched out into his own transport business. Starting off, Hobbsie carted livestock and a little hay but a run-in with a long-horn cow, resulting in 24 sutures in his thigh, put a stop to that. After this, he stuck to hay carting which was very hard work as it involved manual handling of small square bales. Some of these loads would reach nine rows high and had to be stacked to his exact standards. Those who worked with Hobbsie said he was a hard-working big bloke with a heart of gold but impossible to keep up with. Hobbsie started buying and selling hay around southern Queensland and New South Wales.
Over the years, Hobbsie owned and operated a Chev, Commer, Internationals, and a Ford but his favourite truck was a 1955 International R190 that pulled a bogie trailer. When purchased, it was green but Hobbsie painted it red and white as he was superstitious of the colour green on a truck. In the seventies, he bought and operated a new ACCO 1950, and two different model Scania trucks.
Hobbsie’s bond with his Blue Heeler dog and affinity with other animals said a lot about him and the person he was. Often he would arrive home with a stray dog or a joey he had found near its deceased mother. He was also a keen footballer in his day. He lived by the conviction, “Be honest, respectful and put in a good day’s hard work”.
Hobbsie sadly passed away in November 1980 at the age of 47 years. His memory lives on in the stories he left behind and with those whose lives he touched. He is very much missed by his loving family and friends.
Inducted in 2021