Monday, June 01, 2009

Chauffeur recalls brush with famous 'Bazza'

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ONE truism can fend off the gloom in any economic depression. Opportunities will keep arising, no matter how bad things get generally.
Those with courage and commitment to put ideas into practice can increase their chances of not only surviving tough times but also building their wealth.
For some in service industries, this may mean identifying a need, then meeting it with the right ‘vehicle’.
That seven-letter word with multiple meanings is close to the heart of Macleay Islander Stan Lewis, who is probably best known as ‘the man with the limos’ because of the many years he drove his former Ford LTD and Holden Statemen for Hughes Limousines.

WHILE gloom and doom have been on many minds, Stan’s latest venture, BAY-AIR, made its debut in a bright and eye-catching blue and gold classified notice, promising "good service, good rates".
He says the launch follows many requests over the years for airport transfers; his 13-seat Toyota Commuter and 11-seat Ford Transit aim to take the pain out of airport trips for Redland City residents.
A bus-rail airport trip from Redland Bay can take as long as three hours but he can get there in 45 to 60 minutes by road, depending on the traffic, and for small groups the service is cheaper than public transport, he says.
Stan, 54, certainly has engine oil in his blood. He grew up in Arncliffe, Sydney, as the son of a transport operator (also Stan) with 30 trucks – "and he parked them all in our yard".
The son did an apprenticeship as a motor mechanic but then decided to follow in his dad’s wheel tracks and devote his life to driving and transport.

STAN spent about a decade as a subcontracted courier with TNT in Sydney and Canberra before he moved to Macleay in 1995.
He still delivers ‘found luggage’ for Hughes although he has stayed out of the limo sector since his last Statesman reached its industry use-by age of six years.
The day he met actor-singer Barry Crocker has been a highlight of Stan’s many years behind a steering wheel. Crocker starred in the 1972 film, The Adventures of Barry McKenzie.
Stan says he took Crocker to the airport after a Brisbane concert about 10 years ago.

"I TOLD him how, when the film came out, I was working in the King’s Head in Earl’s Court (the London pub that featured in the film)," Stan says.
"I told him he had some great songs, like I’ve Got a Sheila Called Sheila and Chundering in the Old Pacific Sea.
"When I dropped him at the Ansett counter, he turned and sang Chundering in the Old Pacific Sea."
Stan undoubtedly has a lot more stories, including many from his eight years backpacking overseas, to share with airport passengers.
Thanks for joining me to meet the great people in the marvellous community of classified advertising.

This column has appeared in The Redland Times, a Fairfax Media/Rural Press newspaper servicing Queensland’s newest city on the shores of Moreton Bay.

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