Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005Ron Brown, the Oil Man of Bangalow, in January, 1996, finally hung up his petrol pump after 36 years as the local fuel distributor for the Bangalow District in northern New South Wales. Ron bought a Bangalow general carrying business in 1960 which consisted of a 5 tonne Bedford truck and a 3 tonne Maple Leaf Chev.
In 1961, Ron became the local Golden Fleece fuel agent for the Bangalow district, covering just two small petrol stations. One was at Byron Bay, the other at Bangalow. He also serviced the Rutile Zircon Mining Company on the coast.
During the first year Ron carted petrol in 44 gallon drums. He would unload the fuel from the back of his truck into the underground tanks with a power pack. The power pack was a small petrol motor and pump, a practice which would seriously be frowned upon by Occupational Health and Safety these days. The fuel had to come from Newcastle on railway tankers.
In 1962 Ron bought a 1413 Mercedes Benz prime-mover and trailer and started carrying bulk grain for Summerland Grain Distributor Pty. Ltd. to pig and poultry farmers, wholesalers and to the export silos in Brisbane. Ron later had a semi-trailer carrying bulk haulage between Brisbane and Sydney. In 1976 he condensed his business carrying just petroleum with his faithful 1418 Mercedes Benz.
In 1981 he received a High Mileage Award and Plaque from Mercedes Benz for travelling one million kilometres (It took him 13 years.) in that one truck. After another sixteen years of hard yakka and another one million kilometres, both Ron and the 1413 retired in December, 1996, after 29 years of hard work and two million kilometres travelled. It was a major effort for a 130hp, straight six diesel engine. Ron was known as the Oil Man of Bangalow and today enjoys life in his well-earned retirement.