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His is the household name painted on the driver’s door of heavy vehicles plying the highways between Brisbane and the Victorian border, a fleet comprising a transport group with Port’s biggest private payroll, sustaining several hundred employees. This month, Jim Pearson accepts Susie’s invitation to lunch.

A grey Daihatsu mini car’s poised to mount a hydraulic ramp and install itself in the tail of a 38ft-long former bus, now converted to an impressive motor home costing perhaps six figures to rebuild. I’m gobsmacked by the transformation: Jim Pearson, now 78, has taken an old school bus and turned it into a state of the art vehicle, enhancing its value by multiples. Yet he’s a most modest man: over a day with him I learn about Port’s history, politics, personalities, council (Pearson was a local councillor) and more, but this self-effacing yet remarkable achiever rarely talks about himself. He chats about everything else under the sun and is a fascinating lunch companion. Indeed, we neglect some delectable spotted mackerel as we explore a world of topics on a perfect autumn day

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