HILL, Clem

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

Clem Hill was born in 1920 in Port Augusta.  He enlisted in the army in 1941 and was drafted to Alice Springs as a transport driver.  He worked driving Chevrolets, Bedfords and International trucks. There were no bitumen roads.  He recalls, after the bombing of Darwin, assisting with the evacuation of women and children south. He was discharged in November 1945.

Returning to Port Augusta he worked for the railways. With family commitments and the dream of his own business he started a taxi truck business in 1948. The business expanded to include general freight and furniture removals and in 1950 Clem Hill Carrying Service began initially doing three trips weekly between Port Augusta and Adelaide. The long hours away certainly made a depot in Adelaide very welcome.

As demand grew so did the business requiring the employment of drivers and the purchase of more motor vehicles.  Long before typewriters and calculators, without mobile phones or computers, he says it was hard work and that it took commitment to quality service to be successful. Not having a car in the early 1950s holiday trips were taken in the LC3 Morris truck. He would enclose the tray and rope a bench seat on the back for the girls. John would travel in the front with him and Alma.  A length of hose was their communication to the front; they reckon this was the first mobile phone.

Clem and Alma had four children: Kay, Dianne, Sandra and John. At some stage they all, along with their respective partners, worked for him.  He was a pioneer in transport witnessing many changes over the decades. The heavy manual labour involved meant that he certainly welcomed progress in vehicles and equipment such as forklifts. In 1970 John joined the business taking over when Clem retired in 1980. John later sold the business moving to haulage of gas and fuel.

After 60 years the business lem founded still operates under the same name with different owners; something Clem is very proud of.  Between Clem, John and Matthew they have given over 90 years combined service to road transport.

Travel with him is never dull. Retirement hasn’t slowed Clem down. Though in his eighties he has done a couple of road trips with John. He keeps active with various hobbies and volunteering in the community. In this, his 90th year, Clem and Alma will celebrate 66 years of marriage in August 2010. His passion for his business, life, sport, adventure and family is an inspiration to all who know him.