RYAN, John F. (AM)

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

1925 – 1999
John Ryan was born in Adelaide in 1925 and moved to the Northern Territory in 1946, living in Tennant Creek for a short time before making Alice Springs his home in 1948. John passed away in 1999 in Alice Springs.

In 1951 John became secretary of the Co-Ord Transport Group, later becoming a shareholder and chairman of the Co-Ord Transport Association. John invited his friend, Noel Buntine, to become a partner in his Mines and Commissions Agency which they named Ryan & Buntine Ltd. They then purchased Overland Transport from well-known Territorians, Jim and Betty Martin.

The fleet of trucks were in need of replacement so several B-model Mack trucks were purchased. The B-model went on to become their preferred vehicle. Overland Transport’s depot was at the rear of the Caltex Service Station which was built, owned and run by Ryan & Buntine at the base of Anzac Hill where Beaurepaires is located today. Overland Transport Trucks, under the Co-Ord banner, carted copper ore from Peko Mines at Tennant Creek and general goods to Mt Isa Mines in Queensland as well as rail freight to Larrimah and Darwin and all points in between.

The business was also involved in carting diesel locomotives for Commonwealth Railways to Darwin where they were used on the North Australian Railway. The dirt and bitumen roads of the time caused them to endure breakdowns and mishaps which both John and Noel took in their stride. John Ryan also operated the Michelin Tyre Agency, originally in Todd Street, which he later moved to Fogarty Street. He then added the Bandag brand to supply the service of retreading tyres for the road transport industry for many years. He eventually sold his outlet to Bell Bros. in 1972. John Ryan’s involvement in road transport contributed significantly to the economic development of the Northern Territory, particularly in Alice Springs, in the early years.

John and his wife, Carmel, raised four sons who all work or have business in Alice Springs. He was an active member of many committees travelling frequently to Darwin. John was also very involved in the community helping set up the squash club. He was also a founder, president and patron of the golf club for many years.