DUNSTAN, Ray

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.

Ray Dunstan was born 29th August 1929, in Richmond, Victoria.  His father George was a timber man in the Gippsland forests driving the steam log winch.  Due to the devastating 1939 Black Saturday bushfires, Ray’s family relocated to Wangaratta where Ray spent his school days. 

At age 16, Ray was working with his father logging redgum and while carting a heavy load of logs through town with his 1945 Ford Truck with no brakes and no licence, the police officer sternly advised Ray not to drive until he was of age.

In 1949, George and Ray bought a new WB22 White along with a tandem axle timber jinker with brakes.  Gone were the days of driving steep inclines towing large timber beams behind the back wheels to stop the truck rolling back when it stalled. Ray carted timber in that truck under conditions that very few modern drivers could imagine. 

Ray was pulled up on the Hume Highway by Harry, a CRB officer, who said “I knew this truck would get you into trouble”. Officers would sit at the top of Pretty Sally waiting for the drivers who were reportedly speeding down the hill. He told how he saw the lights of a WB 22 White blur round three corners and he pushed his ’48 Chev hard to 80km but never saw the truck again.

Dunstan’s Wangaratta Red Gum Sawmill and Earthmoving Company was established in 1950.  January 1956 saw the purchase of a Caterpillar D6-8U Dozer; it was transported from Clayton to Wangaratta on the timber jinker. The trucks have been an integral part of the family business.  They had to be suited for heavy off road as well as comply with on road.

Ray has travelled over 5 million kilometres in a variety of trucks during his 64 plus years driving. Today Dunstans run 2 Kenworths, lowloaders, Mack tipper, Volvo 8 wheeler and numerous service vehicles.  Last month at the age of 80, Ray was requested to do an OHS induction at the Glenrowan Quarry.  The inspector requested Ray fill out the questionnaire and asked if he had 20 hours experience in driving. Ray thought for a moment and replied, “I only have 20 left.”