TUIT, Len

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

Len Tuit was known as the father of Centralian Tourism.  It is said that Len's eyes, those visionary eyes, caught one's attention most.  And so they should, for they had looked down the long vistas of the Northern Territory, through the windshield of countless vehicles, night and day and in all weathers.

Len had arrived in Alice Springs with a Diamond T truck after slogging it for eleven days from Adelaide.  He found a job as a contract driver for David Baldock and for the next three years primarily drove the run between Alice Springs and Tennant Creek.

In 1936 Len acquired a Ford truck and carted countless tons of equipment to the Granites Goldfields and Tanami.  He carried main between Alice Springs and Birdum.  After the war he combined his mail run with a passenger service in a modified K5 International.  Crude by today's standards, the unit had canvas seats, celluloid windows and a ladder placed over the tailgate for entry.  The trailer was known up and down the track as 'the butterbox'.

Len's first encounter with tourism was to take local school children to Palm Valley in 1944.  In 1950 he took another group to Ayers Rock.  Len and his wife Pearl lobbied relentlessly to have Central Australia promoted as a tourist destination.  The Government was adamant "there was no future in tourism for the NT" and that they certainly couldn't sell a lump of rock as a tourist destination.  Len persisted and was granted the first tourist lease in 1953.  By 1958 he was taking 2,000 people a year to Ayers Rock (now known as ULURU) and by 1976 over 50,000 people visited.

Today Uluru is one of the acknowledged natural icons of the world.
Geoff finally retired in March 2011.