CROWHURST, Arthur

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2003.

A car accident 30 years ago could have sentenced Arthur Crowhurst to a "nightmare life" where he could not work to support himself.  The freight company boss proved the pessimists wrong, creating for himself both a new job and a lifeline for the many remote townships found in the Northern Territory.

Crowhurst Fruits, which freights fresh produce and grocery items by rail from Waikerie to the Northern Territory, has long been recognised as a pioneer of outback transport for the service it provides to remote populations.

Arthur, after the bad car accident in 1967, was offered a pension in 1970.  He decided not to take it.  He wanted to earn a feed for himself.  The Crowhurst family's trucking company at the time was transporting goods from Waikerie into the Sydney market.  Arthur tried for a while to keep it operating but was too ill.  He had also lost his brother in a truck accident and that created an extra strain on the business.

Arthur's introduction to freighting fruit and vegetables was simple.  A friend of his had moved to Darwin in 1972 to open a grocery store.  He asked Arthur to buy him fruit from the Riverland and freight it to him.  But, just as the business began to develop, it suffered a major setback - Cyclone Tracy.  The unreal devastation the cyclone caused in Darwin meant he could not get his freight into the city for 10 months. However, once back in full swing, the company soon supplied some 32 stores between Elliott and Darwin.

At its peak, Crowhurst Fruits freighted 11 semi-trailer loads of produce from Adelaide to Alice Springs by rail and then throughout remote Northern Territory by road.  Arthur credits his wife Dorothy as having been a vital part of the business until her death in 1992.  He also says his "right-hand man," Wayne Hoffman, who has worked for him for more than 20 years, has been instrumental in the success of the business.

Arthur has donated a freshly painted Crowhurst's Fruit rail freight container to the Road Transport Hall of Fame where it is on display today in recognition of his work.