Eric Wilson 103 not out

In Good On Ya Mate, June 20223 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJuly 4, 2022

Not many human beings celebrate a 103rd birthday, let alone even attend such an event, but Eric Wilson, the youngest of eight siblings, was born in Te Puke on 29 April 1919. He couldn’t celebrate his birthday like in past years at his local haunt, the Howick RSA, as his rest home was in lockdown. Also, thanks to Covid-19, it was the first time in 76 years, since returning from World War II in 1946, that Erick couldn’t attend an Anzac Day ceremony. But he organised a service at his rest home to keep up his tradition of remembering his army buddies from the 24th Battalion he served with at El Alamein in Egypt, plus all those thousands of courageous men and women who have served in past conflicts to give us the great life we enjoy today. We will remember them.

Eric’s working life, spanning seven decades, was built around working in and owning general stores, plus driving and owning trucks. He had a fleet of four trucks in Auckland that he took with him to Waitakaruru on the Hauraki Plains, and with Joe Brenan as a silent partner, he formed Waitakaruru Transport on New Year’s Day 1955.

Eric conducting the Anzac Day service at Gulf Views Rest Home, Cockle Bay, Auckland.

In 1963, Eric joined up with Thames transport operator, Jim Parker, to form Parker Wilson Transport, which gave them a direct link against the Railways from Auckland to Thames (with the loads supposedly trans-shipped at Waitakaruru to abide by the rules – yeah, right…)

I rang Eric at about 8.30am on his birthday, with no reply. I found out later that he was doing one of his regular daily jobs organising the seating in the lounge for the other rest home residents – wow!

At 103, Eric is still as sharp as a tack and would possibly still live at home by himself if it wasn’t for his failing eyesight. He would probably have to get a crane in to lift the cake with all those candles, plus get a wind turbine cranked up to blow them all out.

Eric and his late wife Doris had four children – Noeleen, the late Peter, Craig and Keith. What a man; what a legend. Well done, Eric.

If you want to read the full story on Eric’s long life and escapades, written at the time of his 100th birthday, see the August 2019 issue of New Zealand Trucking magazine.


It was with sadness that we learnt of Eric’s passing in June 2022, just weeks after he received his copy of New Zealand Trucking magazine in which this article appeared.