FREESTONE, George

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

1939 - 2003)

George Robert Freestone who jokingly recalled his first roadtrain introduction as being towed along on his trike behind his father's truck as a seven year old, was born in Guildford in July 1939.

George started his career by serving an apprenticeship with Bell Bros., which he says was a very innovative company at that time.  Unfortunately the company met its demise as part of the Alan Bond saga.  So big was the red and white Bell Bros. fleet running on Rolls Royce engines that the company developed an air-wing.

In 1960, he ventured North for a two-year stint with Derm Farrell at the Broome Freezer and Chilling Works.  It was during this period that George was introduced to real roadtrains and livestock haulage.  Derm Farrell had a Rolls Royce powered ERF truck which is believed to be the first roadtrain with that powerplant.  Next step was further north to Wyndham and East Kimberley Transport, a small company with expansion in the pipeline.  A partnership was formed which was to last 10 years, during which time massive changes to fleet and operating styles occurred.  This included being the forerunner to animal welfare issues and crate design.  George then headed south and purchased a small farm at Gillingarra, in WA's central Midlands farming district.  He soon realised that a stock transport was needed to supplement farm income so he purchased an ABD 184 s/d International and a 30' double convertible crate.  It was considered a big rig for that area!  George became involved in the Livestock Transporters Association of WA because the industry was in chaos.  George progressed through the LTA to hold the vice-presidency for two years and then served a further two years as president.

He considered his major accomplishment was probably the formulation of the LTA Code of Practice for animal welfare for which he was presented with the Jack Mitchell Award.  This code is now being adopted by most states and is expected to become the National Code.  George also served on the Road Safety Committee of which the LTA has three members.  George handled all animal welfare issues.  He died unexpectedly the week he was due to receive this accolade in 2003.