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Year: 2015

Brian Earnest O'Callaghan, known as Buster was born on the 15th June 1944 in Mildura, Victoria, the youngest of four children born to Harold & Alyce O'Callaghan. He left school at 14 to work for the family business, H & AD O'Callaghan & Sons (Stock & Station Agents).

Carting livestock and wool in their Bedford truck servicing Pooncarie, Darnick, Ivanhoe, Wentworth, Menindee, Packsaddle, Lameroo, Pinnaroo, Hillston, Balranald, Hay in New South Wales, Longreach Queensland, Ouyen, Warracknabeal and Horsham. Bad weather, poor roads and the remoteness of trips often prevented him returning home to his family for some time. In March 1966 he married and had four girls, Lisa, Marion, Anita and Angela.

In the early 1970s, Buster went out on his own and purchased a Mercedes Benz 1418 and continued in livestock and wool carting. Buster was the first to drive a roadtrain loaded with wool from Pooncarie to Mildura. In the mid 1970s, Buster purchased an International Acco for general cartage. This followed his 2nd daughter asking who the stranger was in the yard, as he had not been home for three months carting during a drought in Longreach.

Buster contracted for Patra Fruit Juices and the Mildura Co-Operative Fruit Company, carting citrus to Melbourne, then back loading with drums of fuel from Mobil, Ford motor cars, steel products and bricks.

In 1984 Buster contracted to cart red gum for the Merbein Saw Mills who, in 1987, purchased Buster's trusted International Acco and he commenced work with them driving in and around Mildura and Balranald carting red gum logs. After 25 years for the mill, Buster was forced into retirement due to the wear and tear on his chassis. After a year off and trucking still pulsing through his veins, he took up casual cartage position with Phillips Transport, Gol Gol driving during the citrus and wine grape harvests.

During one stint that year Buster was injured in a crash between his and another B-double which had failed to give way, hitting his truck at 100km an hour. Buster received multiple facial fractures, skull and arm lacerations, shoulder damage and glass lodged his upper body. The long nose Kenworth now looks like a cabover.

Buster is well on the road to recovery and his popularity amongst his former outback customers and colleagues was evident with the amount of concerned people and well-wishers who contacted his family and himself following the crash.

His resilience, dedication, professionalism and true truckie spirit still shines through today, a legend behind the wheel, who has made lifetime friendships in an industry he truly loves and will always be in his blood.

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