What a Legendary Night!
Beersies… AND Barnesy!
A New Zealand Truck & Driver Review
“IT’S BEEN THE KIWI TRUCKING COMPANY BIRTHDAY bash to beat ‘em all – with Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes flown in ‘specially to perform at Gleeson & Cox’s 50th anniversary party. Barnes and his eight-piece band played to an invitation-only crowd of around 1300 at the Auckland company’s Aerovista Place headquarters in Wiri – transformed for the night into “Aerovista Arena”… staging “a full-blown rock concert.”
Barnes sung for 90 minutes on a stage flanked by another legend – Gleeson & Cox’s anniversary special addition to its 112-strong fleet, a limited edition Kenworth Legend 900, and the company’s previous flagship, a 2014 Kenworth T909 named The General (dedicated to the memory of company co-founder, the late Brian Gleeson).
The invited guests – a mix of past and present staff and family, suppliers, customers and other industry figures – had already been entertained by musical and comic duo, The Topp Twins. They’d witnessed a traditional Fijian welcome performed by Gleeson & Cox Fijian drivers and a haka performed by Maori drivers….and they’d dined on offerings from food carts, including Auckland’s iconic White Lady.
Gleeson & Cox managing director James Gleeson says the big party came about because “50 years is a big milestone – and the business has never celebrated its history. It’s been really humble.
“And I think it really needed to be brought to people’s attention that it’s three generations in already – and heading for four.” There’s also the fact that in just two years “we doubled the size of the fleet.” And since 2011 it has almost trebled.
He told invited guests that “an event like this only happens once every 50 years. Our trucks stand proud on this occasion – shining. A testament to the hard work and polish of our team.”
Other speakers included National Road Carriers Association CEO David Aitken and company driver Bevan Tiller.
The Gleeson & Cox workshop was transformed from business-as-usual to “Aerovista Arena” between Thursday night and Saturday afternoon, with the company’s project manager Paul Holdom calling on past experience as a road manager to bands like The Kinks and running a concert sound system business, to manage the 50th anniversary event.
The setup included 800 square metres of tents and marquees, bars, a VIP platform and furnished bar areas. Gleeson’s office became Barnes’ “green room,” with a golf cart to ferry the singer around.
Dozens of Gleeson & Cox trucks – Kenworths on one flank, DAFs on another and Mitsubishi Fusos elsewhere – added to the atmosphere. Pride of place was given to the bulk trailer for the new Legend 900, its alloy bin adorned with graphics covering elements of the company’s history.”
We sure sung it from the workshop that 2017 has been a significant year as it marks the 50 year point in the history of Gleeson & Cox Transport. It was a night to remember and we told more than a few stories about the places we’ve been and the amazing people who have passed through our doors (and many who have stayed with us through the distance). We wouldn’t have made it this far without the support, partnerships and general camaraderie of everyone associated with our industry.