At the recent QBIC Conference Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast, Barry Bonnitcha received a parting service gift to the Bus Industry from QBIC’s David Tape.

This was an acknowledgment of more than 56 years involvement in the Transport Industry in Australia, with more than 43 years in the Bus Industry.

Born in Hobart Tasmania he served his time as a truck Mechanic Working on White Trucks for Donald Goring Motors in Hobart.

He then Joined the Royal Aust. Navy during this Time He saw Active Service in the latter end of the KOREA WAR.

Barry has been in our Truck Bus & Coach Industry for the past 56 Years.

While working for Queen Bridge Motors as Associate Director, he Was Successful in the negotiation for the MAN Dealerships in Tasmania / South Aust./and Melbourne.

In 1975 he was Appointed State Manager for M A N Automotive Australia QLD. In June of 1976 he was Appointed Associate Director of M A N Australia.

In 1976 he Sold the First M A N Coach to Bill Jones of C Q Tours who went on to Purchase further Units. In 1980 he worked with Queensland Transport and Queensland Police department to have M A N Articulated Buses accepted and Registered in Queensland and Sold Some to the Brisbane City Council, this opened the way for other States to purchase Articulated buses.

In the same year he started the M A N Factory at Rocklea producing Bus chassis for the Brisbane City Council Contract at the same time Producing all the Coach chassis for Australia.

Barry was very Involved in Helping the Owners of “Styleride Seating Company” starting their Factory in 1994 and then going on to be their Sales and Marketing Director & the company becoming Manufacturers of World Class Bus and Coach Seats.

Barry has been active in all the Bus and Coach Shows over the years both in Australia and New Zealand and has been a member of all the State Bus & Coach Associations including Tasmania and New Zealand, Plus the National Association, and attended all conferences over His 42 Years.

In Queensland Barry was Also a Committee Member of C.V.I.A Qld. from 1977 – 1988 and was State & Australian President During this Time and was Made a Life Member in 1986.

Barry has just had a Birthday and turned *84.

This is the 3rd time he has retired from the industry, & his family are looking forward to having him at home more often.

At the presentation, Barry announced his replacement of Russell Bayfield as the new General Manager for Sales, Service & Marketing for Styleride seating.

Barry was tasked to find the right person for the company, to take it forward into the future & someone known within the industry.

Barry mention that for him, he could only think of one person to fit the bill, & that was Russell Bayfield. Barry & Russell have known each other for many years, & worked together in the past at MAN.

While it took some time for both parties to come to agreement, Company Directors Noel Dabelstien & Matt Lukan are very happy that Russell came on board early this year.

Russell has 30 years’ experience in the Transport industry, from starting as a fitter at MAN in 1988, to State Service Manager, Branch Manager & then Regional Sales Manager for the East Coast.

During this period, he had time with Protector Glass in the Bus, Truck & Specialty glass factory, & recently Custom Bus Regional Sales for the last 3 years.

Russell brings with him a wealth of experience in the bus industry, & with working knowledge from the chassis to the body, can relate to customers & builders alike.

Russell said, “To be asked by such a well know & icon Australian company like Styleride to come on board, was very exciting & I am really looking forward to what we can achieve in the future.

Such a great family company, & the transition into the company has been made easy by the exceptional staff.”

The future of Styleride is bright, & the growth of the products continue not only in Australia, but New Zealand & overseas. With more announcements to come in the near future, Styleride is well poised for what the Australia’s Bus & Coach industry needs going into the next generation.