Truckie Profiles

Meet the young truck driver related to Australia’s last bushrangers

bushranger

Young truckie Michael Kenniff drives a Hino rigid for Bidfood, based at Mackay, and has two descendants who were Australia’s last bushrangers.

Big Rigs saw the 29-year-old Kenniff and an assistant delivering food at the small town of Calen which is north of Mackay and just off the Bruce Highway.

“I have been doing this for four years and love it. We deliver as far away as Middlemount, Mount Coolon and Airlie Beach and the most popular items are chips, ice cream and chicken,” he said.

Michael said he has a HR license and would be going for an MC licence in the not-too-distant future.

When I heard his surname, I immediately mentioned that I thought several of his descendants may have been the bushrangers Patrick and James Kenniff.

“Yes, I know that but not the exact family link,” he said.

Many years ago, I covered numerous stories on the late Patrick and James Kenniff, another descendant of theirs being famous and respected Australian journalist Mike Munro who for many years worked on the TV program 60 Minutes.

Munro had visited Charters Towers with a friend, the late Larry Delhunty, to visit the grave of James Kenniff at the old cemetery beside what is known as the Lynd Highway.

James Kenniff is acknowledged as the last bushranger in Queensland and with elder brother Patrick were expert horsemen who made a living by horse stealing.

They were wanted in connection to the theft of a horse. A police constable, Aboriginal tracker and station master pursued the brothers for several days through hard, mountainous country in Western Queensland.

Later the brothers were charged with murdering the constable and station master but throughout the trial Patrick maintained his innocence.

Patrick was sent to the Gallows of Boggo Road Gaol and James’s life was spared, but he was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour. Being released in 1914, he refused visitors and lived out his life alone.

Patrick Kenniff is buried in a South Brisbane Cemetery.

Bidfood has depots at over 40 locations across Australia and works closely with restaurants, cafés and a wide range of commercial kitchens to supply the highest quality food and other products.

Bidfood Mackay has a small team servicing the local foodservice industry.

The branch has a wide range of options across food, meat, seafood, cleaning and packaging.

Bidfood Mackay has local products such as Eungelladale milk and are supporters of Souths Leagues Club and Wests Leagues Club.

Their trucks can be seen on the road as far away as Tasmania where Bidfood has depots at Hobart and Launceston. Some years ago, I snapped one of their drivers at Ross Town off the Midlands Highway in the Apple Isle.

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