NORTON, Edward (Ted)

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

Edward John (Ted) Norton was born on 21st January 1922 at Longwarry, Victoria and was introduced to the transport industry at the early age of 11 or 12. Each morning before school, Ted and his horse and lorry would collect cream from local farmers and deliver it to the Longwarry butter factory.

When Ted left school, he drove delivery trucks for his older brother Henry (known as Hop in the Longwarry area). By the time Ted reached 21 (1943) he had enlisted in the army and before long was based in Queensland, where he met his life-long friends Jack Bateman and Ed Cameron. Little did he know  the impact that these two men would have on the trucking industry.

When Ted returned to Longwarry he worked for Proposch Bros sawmill carting logs and timber, and for a time, so did Jack Bateman. Approximately 1950-51, Ted was working for D & E Cameron in Doncaster, Victoria. Ted worked for Cameron’s for about 3 years mainly carting fruit and vegetable produce to the Sydney markets. In 1953-54 he returned to Gippsland to drive for Propsch Bros once again carting logs and timber. By the time 1959 rolled around Ted thought it was time he had his own truck so he purchased an early 1940s White truck and timber jinker and contracted for the Longwarry sawmills. It wasn’t long before the wooden framed cab of the White was replaced by a steel framed cab in the front yard of his Bunyip home. In 1961 the White was replaced with a V8 petrol powered Dodge.

In 1962 Ted suffered a heart attack while driving. This meant the end of day to day truck driving although he couldn’t resist the occasional drive. In that same year he received a call from Camerons and was asked if he was interested in flying to Sydney to drive one of the first Kenworth trucks to arrive in Australia, back to Victoria.

He was also invited to be on the Kenworth stand at the motor show. These two events were the highlight of his career within the trucking industry.

On June 17, 1970, Ted suffered a fatal heart attack; he was 48 years old. He was survived by his wife Betty and sons, Gary and John.