ANSETT, Sir Reg

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005.

Reginald Myles Ansett (later Sir Reginald Ansett) began Ansett Roadways, a passenger car service between Hamilton and Ballarat, Victoria, in 1931. In service was a 1927 second-hand Studebaker which was used to eventually connected Hamilton, Maryborough, Ballarat and Melbourne.

It was one of the first road carriage services of its kind in Australia.  Reginald was then able to purchase, out of the income from this service, a DH Gipsy Moth, initially as a hobby, in which he learnt to fly.

In 1935 the roadways service ceased to be and Reginald set about registering Ansett Airways, recruited a pilot (Vern Cerche) and an engineer, and began giving flying lessons at Porterfield Aircraft. He then purchased an Airspeed Envoy and in 1936 their first commercial machine, a Focker F.X I Universal, VH-UTO. Commercial services began.  In 1937, the airline was incorporated in Victoria as a public company.  Over the next 64 years Ansett expanded in all facets of aviation to become Australia's largest domestic airline. In 1945 Reg Ansett expanded by purchasing Pioneer, a road coach operation owned by A.A. Withers Bus Company in Melbourne. So started the development of Ansett Pioneer which existed up to 1992 when the company was sold to Australian Coachlines Pty Ltd.

During the '60s and '70s further road transport came into operation with the launch of Ansett Freight Express for intra and inter state road freight services in addition to the purchase of Wridgeways Removalist Company which became Ansett Wridgeways.

From a most humble beginning came one of Australia's, if not the world's so some believe, greatest transport and tourist operator, Sir Reginald Myles Ansett.