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Rodney Bradley

Manager of A G Souter Pty Ltd in Parkes, Western New South Wales

Rodney Bradley is one of the unsung heroes of the Australian country town.

Born in Parkes, Rodney has devoted his life to his town, his business and his family. He began his auto electrical apprenticeship with AG Souter in 1959, leaving only briefly to work in the Ford dealership. During his time with Souters, Rodney has been at the forefront of auto air conditioning from the early period in the 70s with the Mark IV to the present day with its modern high tech equipment. His inventiveness and innovation led to Souters being one of the first to aircondition Walmar and Gason cabs fitted to all makes of tractors and headers. In two decades, more than 500 machines were air conditioned, with the peak of 187 conversions in 1974/75 alone.

Rodney was always enterprising and resourceful, especially in the early days of air conditioning when kits that were supposed to fit, often didn’t and were more often only half complete. He couldn’t wait around for a missing bit – he just made one.

Rodney’s community service makes you wonder when he had any time to himself. Starting with the P and C (he has three children, now all school teachers), Rodney was involved in the setting up of the Parkes High School Council for which he worked for 18 years. He has held various positions with the Parkes Uniting Church committee over 30 years and is currently secretary to the parish council and is highly respected within the church.

He’s a member of the Parkes Vintage Car club and has been its president since 1998. He’s a volunteer fire fighter and that not being enough, he became the engine keeper and deputy captain, a position he holds today. Rodney and his wife Adrienne seem to put commitment to others way above themselves. For the past four years, they have cared for Adrienne’s disabled parents in their own home, a mammoth task just in itself.