REES, Betty

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

Betty Rees is a true transport pioneer who, with her brother Bill started one of the first taxi truck operations in Melbourne in 1954. The business started as South Surburban Radio Taxi Trucks from very humble beginnings with 200 pounds and a second-hand Ford van that became the first taxi truck for the new business.

Betty’s determination and drive dominated as she managed all the daily depot functions: answering phones, managing the paperwork, allocating tasks, the weekly banking, and just for good measure, looking after her husband Jack and raising two young boys, Colin and Phillip. She would also take after-hours phone calls, recording bookings and then allocating jobs to the growing subcontractor fleet.

Betty, although operating in a predominately male controlled industry was much respected for her honest judgment and common sense approach from both customers, and drivers as she steered the business in many new directions. As the years rolled by the name changed to SS Taxi Trucks maintaining the very prominent colour scheme of green, orange, red and white band!

Betty’s vision for the business saw the operation develop from small taxi trucks to large vans and tray trucks. The first mini couriers gave women the opportunity to be part of the transport industry.

The transport dynasty created by Betty flourished for more than 50 years culminating in the formation of the CRT Group which was run by Colin and Phillip until sold to Queensland Rail in 2005. Colin continues the tradition in Intermodal operations.

Betty is now in her 88th year but can look back at what she and her brother Bill created with great pride knowing that they ventured where others had never been before. They forged a niche along with many other pioneers of today’s dynamic transport industry.