KITE, George

George Kite Dodge V8

Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2005

In 1937, George Kite, a 20 year old farmer from Binya in the Riverina district of New South Wales, bought a one-tonne 1926 Chevrolet 4 truck to cart timber and wood to Griffith to supplement his meagre income from share farming.

He soon upgraded to a three-tonne Chevrolet truck to cart wood to Griffith and loads of sixty-six bales of wool to Albury once or twice a week at night. The trips had to be made at night because it was wartime and George and other young men were required by the Government as manpower to do day work on farms in the district.

The long hours and the heavy manual work of lifting the bags of wheat or bales of wool weighing 400lbs, both on the farms, and to load and unload the trucks, did not deter George. In 1943 he bought his first second-hand prime-mover and semi-trailer for £600. After the war George, his wife Nell and son, Neville, moved to Griffith where he carried livestock to the saleyards, grain to the silos and wool to Albury and Melbourne. The business was registered as Kites Transport Service.  Neville joined the business in 1957.  Throughout the 60s and 70s Kites Transport Service operated a fleet of 12 prime-movers. During this time Kites was the most prominent and successful general carriers in Griffith and the district, carrying livestock to saleyards and to adjistment all over New South Wales, grain to silos, interstate freight and thousands of tonnes of fruit and vegetables to the Leeton Cannery each season.

At peak times, at least ten trucks, each loaded with 19 tonnes of fruit or tomatoes would do three trips to the cannery each day. The business also held the IPEC Overnight Freight Distribution contract for Griffith and the Schweppes contract to transport drinks from the Leeton factory to the Griffith outlets. In 1977, with the closure of the Leeton Cannery and George’s deteriorating health, Kites Transport Service was sold, ending a 40 year chapter of trucking history.  Sadly George Kite passed away in 1988.

From owning one very small Chev 4 truck to a fleet of Dodge V8 prime-movers, George Kite, known as ‘a man of his word’, was well-respected by both his business associates and the community alike. He was a true pioneer in the Australian road transport industry and much respected by all who knew him.  George Kite passed away in 1988.