RENFREY, Russell

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

Russell Renfrey was born in 1923.  His company, based in Geelong, commenced trading in 1947 with one Chevrolet 3 tonne lend-lease model and ceased trading on 20th June, 2005 with the sale of the business to the Wettenhall Group.

A baby Quinn trailer was procured to carry cement from Australian Cement Co to the rail.  In approx 1948, because of a rail strike, Russell was allowed to travel on the Melbourne Road (Princes Highway) under permit when petrol rationing tickets were still about.

Transport operators were not allowed to carry against the railways but a few years later the recognised Geelong carriers such as Blakistons, Purnells and Renfreys were allowed to run between Geelong and Melbourne.  The business then expanded into the cartage of wool bales and timber with general freight increasing the amount of trucks being run to approx 10, mainly Chevrolet and Internationals.  The Green Pasture Lime contract required, over time, the purchase of four tankers eventuating in a tanker capacity of 24 tonnes.  The fleet continued to increase to a cross-section of Ford Louisville, Sterling, Volvo, Kenworth, International and Mercedes Benz in prime-movers with tri-axle flattops, B-double and tautliner trailers with a number of smaller delivery vehicles along with forklifts and even a crane.

Russell eventually bought his two sons, Wayne and Daryl, into the business where they completed between 35 and 40 years of service respectively before retiring.  Later, his daughter, Jonda commenced in an administration role where she achieved 20 years of service.  While still running the business, Russell played 201 games of football for the Geelong Cats between 1946 and 1954.  This included two premerierships.

Russell spent three years as a councillor on the Newtown City Council and then nine years as president of the Geelong Football Past Players Club.  Today he enjoys travelling.