Lake Macquarie History

A war, a lake and a family business

a Triggs Motors Autobiography

Sarah Fairbairn

My great-grandfather, Chas Trigg was a South Australian boy. Hence Triggs Motors had its early days in Nairne S.A. during 1930's. During WW2 Chas was sent to do his training at the Rathmines RAAF base. During his time there he fell in love with the Lake (Lake Macquarie, NSW). He loved the area so much that when he was de-mobilised in 1945 he bought a workshop at Toronto in the main street and Triggs Motors Toronto was born.

photo: triggs of toronto 1946

A lot of local businesses came out of the Rathmines RAAF. In Toronto alone, there was; Hirecraft Marine (later renamed Lifestyle marine), the Coolabah Café, Hiles Store, Brian Hurt electrical, Mason's sport store, Smith's shoe store, Triggs Motors and many men went on to become local builders and labourers.

Is wasn't until the early 50s that the local demand for tractors (which Triggs sold) turned to Motor Cars, so Chas started selling them too. Over the years operating over a site that spanned from The Boulevarde to Victory Parade Toronto, Triggs progressed through selling BMC to Land Rover, Range Rover, Triumph, Rover, MG etc. several other marques were held over the years including Jaguar, Mazda, Suzuki, Lada, as well as continuing to sell chains saws, lawn mowers and even go-karts for a time. When the time was right my grandfather (Dennis Trigg) took over car sales and servicing and his younger brother Steven took over machinery sales and servicing, splitting the business in to Triggs Motors and Triggs Chainsaws and Mowers..

photo: triggs of toronto 1963

The Boulevard/Victory parade site was downsized, and New vehicle sales moved to Newcastle in 1989 just as the earthquake struck and flattened most of the area my Grandfather had just moved into, but that's another story. .

By 1993 only Triggs Chainsaws and Mowers (sales and service) remained at 36 Victory Parade Toronto. And Triggs Motors servicing department was now at 88 Excelsior Parade Toronto (run by my uncle and grandmother). When BMW bought out Land Rover my Grandfather decided he'd had enough and moved back, joining the team at Toronto, giving away selling cars to concentrate on vehicle repairs and servicing. .

Currently we have three generations working at 88 Excelsior Parade, my Grandfather Dennis, Grandmother Alison, my uncle Gordon and me, Sarah. With my sons Riley and Ethan coming in during holidays, Triggs Motors has now seen five generations in total spend their days within its walls in Toronto..