'Ernie', as Sharon affectionately called him had covered more than three million kilometres - not bad for an old boy with a dodgy clutch and what looks like a bullet hole in the windscreen.
As Sharon crunched through the gears on the 'crash' box (no modern fangled mamsy pamsy synchromesh here thank you!!) she urged Ernie on affectionaly 'Comnon Ernie, you can do it; Good boy Ernie I knew you could'.
We all grew accustomed to Ernie. So much so that when Sharon announced that the photographers were to transfer the sleek, modern state-of-the-arty MAN bus there was a resounding chorus of 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!'
We all came to love Ernie as he galumped comfortably and confidently down along the corrugated, dusty road red dirt bush roads, past Dooley Downs and on to Cobra Station.
*I believe they even named a milkman after Ernie. Click HERE to listen to 'Ernie'