WILLIAMS, Leslie

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2002.

Les Williams has always had an affinity for hard work and growing businesses....and has never failed to push his own barrow.  Born in 1929 he began growing vegetables and pushed a wheelbarrow every Sunday selling his produce from house to house.

For this he earned the princely sum of around $3.00 per day.  His little bit of spare time was spent cutting firewood with his father.  In 1943 young Les bought a secondhand Bedford and a new KS5 International costing around 625 pounds.

By this time he was cutting and carting wood full time.  The following year he purchased an existing business called Mylor Transport and with TCB licence number #69 he began trading as Williams Transport Service.  His business was the first to haul bulk milk tankers in the Adelaide Hills.

Les married Nita Dowling in 1950 by which time he had 5 trucks and a semi-trailer on the road.  He would cart goods regularly from Bridgewater Milling to Port Adelaide.  The going rate at the time was around 80c per ton!  By 1956 the young couple had added another 3 semi-trailers to the fleet and were carrying all the building materials for the Mt Gambier Hospital.

In 1967 he started Hayway Transport building drop-deck semi-trailers.  He was soon renown for giving a hand to "smaller blokes having a go on their own" by financing their acquisitions.  Les eventually sold his interest in this business in 2002, but maintained an interest in Southern Cross Trailers up until his death.  The Ash Wednesday fires of 1983 literally devastated Les's house and business at Mylor.

The fires also caused a heavy loss of plant and equipment because at that time, Les was dealing in second-hand trucks and trailers as well as operating a truck wreckers.

Les Williams passed away in 2002.  He was an unassuming man whose fairness, hard work and ingenuity have contributed a great deal to road transport in the south areas of Australia.