Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2010.
This is the story of Mrs. Mavis Jarred who was born in 1922 and arguably one of Australia’s first female articulated truck drivers. She commenced her driving career at the tender age of 19 in 1941, driving an International truck carting open wheat bags to Miram in Victoria.
Mavis operated a cartage company with her first husband Ivan Rethus for over twenty years. She was actively involved in all aspects of their transport operation. She drove trucks for a considerably longer period in outback New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and the more civilised roads of Victoria. Like most women of that era she also ran the family home and raised four sons.
Upon the death of her first husband, Ivan, in 1970 Mavis continued the business until November of 1971 when she closed the sheep transport operation down to concentrate on other business interests including light truck cartage, trailer manufacturing and general engineering
There were a number of trucks that Mavis and her husband owned over the years: a 1946 Ford with a 34 foot semi. This was Mavis’s first truck which she was recently reunited with on a property just outside of Nhill in Victoria. She also owned a l952 International and at various times a red Leyland Beaver and a grey Leyland Beaver. “The Beaver” was her all time favourite had cost them £5,500. At this time pay rates were set at four shillings and nine pence per mile which was later increased to five shillings per mile. It remained in service until 1971.
In 1956 while away on a trip in the Hay (NSW) region, the favourite grey Leyland came across another truck with a broken fan belt. This truck was duly hitched to the Leyland and towed 50 miles into Hay where at times the towed truck had to start his engine to assist in climbing hills as the gravel and dirt road were so bad. It is also worth recording that both trucks were fully laden with sheep at the time. In 1960 two of Mavis’s sons, Terry and David, joined their mother in the business. They purchased a Ford semi-trailer making this a unique business.
In 1974 Mavis married Neville Jarred and she and Neville commenced a light truck business and purchased two light Dodge trucks, a one toner and a three toner, to cart a variety of loads, such as fruit across to Coonalpyn, South Australia, brush to Melbourne and the odd furniture load to places as far as Queensland.
After 52 years of business Mavis retired in1993 at the age of 71years. She is now approaching the age of 88 and still holds a current articulated truck licence.