Our First 60 Years
Celebrating sixty years of achievement by one of Bunbury’s
leading commercial enterprises. From humble beginnings, BDC Drilling
has grown into a flagship organisation, with a legacy of involvement
in many of the region’s important developments. Whether helping to
establish consistent water supplies for the city’s residents, partnering the
growth of the mineral sands and coal mining industries or supporting
the activities of multinational resource corporations in the Pilbara, the
continuing success of the company is testament to the vision and effort
of the successive generations of the Linaker family and those that have
worked alongside them.
How It All Began
Our first drilling rig, simple in its operation, but an important piece
of history – the genesis of BDC Drilling as it is today. Built by company
founder Len Linaker in simpler times, the rig was assembled from
readily available scrap metal in the back yard of his property at Blair
A cable drill, it was powered by a 3 hp Ronaldson-Tippett hoppercooled
petrol-kero engine. At the time, Ronaldson Brothers & Tippet,
from Ballarat, was the largest engine manufacturer in Australia, and this
engine was a popular unit throughout the agricultural sector.
The rig was used initially for drilling domestic reticulation bores,
as well as providing water for dairy cattle around the Bunbury area.
This home-made piece of equipment supported the development of the
company for a number of years, until more sophisticated and powerful
units became available.
When Len Linaker retired from the
company in 1983 he left behind a business
with a fine record of thirty years service to
the Bunbury community and beyond. We can
imagine that he was proud of the legacy, and
confident of leaving the business in the safe
hands of his son, Brian, who had worked at his
side since leaving school.
Len had started the company that became
BDC Drilling back in the mid-fifties, but
prior to that he’d seen wartime service in New
Guinea, where he’d worked as coxswain on
barges keeping the Australian infantry supplied
on their jungle campaigns against the Japanese.
It was here that he learned how to get the
best out of the big Ford V8 petrol engines that
powered those coastal barges, a skill which
stood him in good stead when he joined
Bunbury icon, Dorsett Motors, as an apprentice
mechanic after the war.
His apprenticeship led to a varied career,
including a spell at the Railway Road service
station where he worked first on buses, then
driving tankers for CSR before moving on to
the Bunbury Wharf. It was whilst contracting
to Sunny West Dairies, working on installing
and maintaining milking equipment, that
he found himself naturally involved in the
development of pumping systems, and hence
bores – an area in which he quickly established
his expertise and reputation.
The rest, as they say, is history.