HARVEY, Colin and Barbara

Colin and Barbara harvey The White Lady

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005

Colin Harvey started driving trucks in 1956 at the age of 18 for John Budd, a mail contractor, on the Smithfield and Rantappa mail runs in northern NSW. His first truck was an 8-ton Dodge and later he progressed to a 4-ton Fargo.

He did the mail run for two years before deciding shearing was a better paying option. He also spent a couple of years roustabouting, fencing and pressing wool.

Colin then got a job at the waterboard at Menindee, driving Merlease diesel engines at the pumping station for the next ten years. In 1961 Colin married Barb and together they tendered for the mail run from Wilcannia to Broken Hill and they were successful. He started with a BMC Leyland carting wool, fuel, stores and mail to outlying stations. Three years later Colin traded the Leyland for a G88 Volvo which Barb drove.

He also bought an International Acco for himself. Barb also had a bus driver’s licence. By this time the mail run had expanded as far as Adelaide and the Wanarins and White Cliffs areas. Eventually the Acco was traded for a Volvo. They lost the mail contract but continued doing the wool, fuel and stores runs for five more years.

Barb would often take her children with her on the runs before they were old enough to attend school. She worked hard driving hundreds of kilometres and she’d single-handedly roll drums of fuel, bales of hay and wool to load her truck.  She was once bogged in her truck and had to walk 30km through the rain to get help. Once, surrounded by bushfires, she drove her truck to her destinations to ensure the supplies were delivered despite recommendations that she shouldn't..

In 1990, Colin and Barb decided "to take things a little easier" and became the owners of the Little Topar Hotel, east of Broken Hill. Barb’s truck, her pride and glory, was the G88 Volvo named the “White Lady.” Today it is proudly parked up behind the hotel for Barb to visit.