PURVIS-SMITH, Richard

10_purvis-smith_richard_1 10_purvis-smith_richard_2 10_purvis-smith_richard_4 10_purvis-smith_richard_3

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

Richard’s fascination with transport began as a young boy watching trucks, ex-army and otherwise, on the New England Highway through Tamworth, Armidale and Tenterfield in the 1940s.

In 1947 the pastoral companies of North Australia Pastoral Company (NAPCO) and Marion Downs Pty Ltd began trial runs with two Leyland Super Hippos carrying cattle between Marion Downs and the railhead at Dajarra. The trials were a success and five more were purchased.

In 1952 Richard took the opportunity of joining the roadtrains which were running between Marion Downs, Dajarra, Soudan Station and Mt Isa. As roads were improved in the Channel Country of Queensland, they began operating between Mt Isa, Winton and Quipie to their stations throughout the Diamantina, Georgina and the Barkley Tableland. The operation was large enough to keep the fleet fully occupied and no outside contracting was undertaken by the company. Richard spent 15 years with the operation overseeing the day to day running and co-ordination of the fleet until moving on and living at the Gold Coast where he contracted to Boral for 32 years with a concrete agitator.

After retiring in 2002, Richard and his family remained on the Gold Coast. He continues his interest in the trucking industry and in those who have the foresight to restore, maintain and document the history of the old trucks and the personnel who gave such sterling service in difficult conditions.