RASMUSSEN, Paul

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2008.

Paul (Polly) Rasmussen was born in 1936, in Goodnight, NSW where his family was farming 11 acres.  His father died in 1943, leaving his wife and two young sons to try and make a living.  In 1947 his brother and mother purchased a 3-tonne Austin truck carting open-bagged wheat to Piangil Silo and dried fruit to Nyah Railhead with Polly helping whenever he could after school had finished.

Heeding other farmer's advice they traded to a bigger Austin, a 5-tonne semi-trailer so they could transport up to 13 tons of fresh produce to Melbourne market.

The first truck Polly drove was a 1953 Austin Loadstar K4 which he remembers now as being 'pretty slow'.  Truck technology has come a long way since then, no sleeping on the back of your loads for the drivers of today.  The biggest transformation Polly relates to is when, in the 1950s, the rail went on strike and regulations restricting road freight were lifted and the right to free trade between states was upheld in the 1954 Hughes and Vales case presented in the Privy Court in London.  In 1954 he traded the Austin for an S Type Bedford and a 23' tray body.

In 1959 Polly took over Rasmussen Transport, still providing Goodnight and District with their much needed service transporting wool and produce to Melbourne and fertiliser and general to Goodnight on dirt and bitumen roads.  In 1960 Polly married Lil and they worked together and raised two sons.

They also took on the local Shell distribution, using a Bedford and an International.  A succession of Internationals followed, an AB182, then the first diesel, an AB 184 GM471.  Next was a new Acco 2 150 with a Cummins V555.  What a mistake; 3 and a half years later and nearly broke, so Polly sold it and purchased a second-hand Mercedes Benz 1924.  It had done 450,000 miles, and it became his favourite truck as he thought it was the most modern of that time.  He continued to run to Melbourne.  Polly sold the business in 1981 because of ill health.  His happy face and willingness to give anybody a helping hand is missed.
    
This was not the end of his association with the transport industry, Polly bought the Tooleybuc Roadhouse and for the next eight years provided fuel and meals for the trucking industry. 

Today Polly is retired and lives in Goodnight.