MEAKER, Paul

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.

Paul Meaker has only ever known the transport industry.  His father came to Australia after the war and got a job driving a Maple Leaf and later a Bedford, Chev and Foden and young Paul always loved it when he had a chance to travel with Dad.

Paul went with him on trips from Adelaide to Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.  At that time the road across the Hay Plains from Euston through to Narrandera was dirt and barely more than a goat track.

He left school at 15 years old and by the time he was 16 his father had two Leylands, a Hippo and a Beaver.  So at 16 when he obtained a licence he started driving the Beaver running from Adelaide to Perth.  In those days the Eyre Highway was mostly dirt all the way to Balladonia, the bitumen ended just out of Port Augusta.

He remembers breaking a windscreen when coming out of Perth on time and couldn't get a replacement for the Leyland so repaired it with a piece of plastic only to have it eaten by George Chick's camel when he stopped at Nundroo.  Everyone thought the camel was going to die but much to Paul's relief (and George Chick's too) he survived.

Paul spent the next couple of years carting produce to the Sydney markets.  After that he went to work for Frank Sheppard of Sheppard Wine Tankers carting wine to and from all the wine regions of Australia.  For the next 24 years he was involved in the oil and gas industry driving for well-known companies such as Fluid Freight, Pearce Transport, Cootes, Scott Tanker Division, Leon Macklin and Boral Transport.  For many of these companies, Paul's skills and expertise were put to good use as a heavy vehicle driver-trainer inducting new employees into the truck driving industry.

Paul now works local delivering for Coles from the Adelaide Distribution Centre to the metropolitan stores in the area.

Paul was the fourth driver in Australia to pull a B-double and the 81st person to be issued with a dangerous goods licence.