RYAN, Ken

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

Ken Ryan was born 26th April,1945 in Lindenow, Victoria. In the school ground at 754 Bairnsdale, Ken talked, played and watched trucks as they passed by the school. In April 1965 he started his driving career transporting dairy cows, sheep and fat cattle in Lindenow, Dargo and High Plains area in a 1959 Commer Knocker tray stock truck.

At 22yrs of age he married and moved to Rowville. There he applied for his semi licence to drive for Warburton Transport. On Friday Ken had his licence to drive and on Saturday night he was employed to transport general goods to Sydney. He had never been to Sydney before nor had he used a rope or tarped a load. With the general attitude of other operators that used the system there was always someone to help. He stayed for 2 years driving Commer Knockers from Melbourne to Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney.

Back in Bairnsdale Ken started driving for Bert Overand in a 190 Inter, doing Ansetts to Canberra, unload, then onto Bombala to load timber for Melbourne doing 2 runs a week. Bill Flinn bought the business from Bert and Ken joined the team and stayed 2years driving a W-model Kenworth 8.71GM. Then he held a few different jobs; carting cattle for Graeme Neal, log carting for Bill Kummins, interstate for Alan Jones. He went to Orbost to work for McMullen’s Transport, working there for 2 years until Intermodal took over. Ken then went to work for Andersons in Benambra transporting timber. When work dropped off he was asked to find other work. He started with Grinters Transport, Swifts Creek, and was with them for 3 years transporting timber to Melbourne, Sydney, Gosford and Corowa often going over Mt. Hotham when there wasn't snow.

He purchased a business that would take him into a l5 year contract with Repco Parts, providing a service from Repco Clayton to the 10 Gippsland stores. Customers could order parts by 3.30pm week days and have the part when doors open the next day. The contract ended and Ken purchased a T600 Kenworth to cart paper for John Heggart. He purchased a 36' tipper and carted grain and fertilizer for 6 years. Ken sold his truck and trailer and went to join the Lanteri Refrigerated Transport, carting fresh vegetables to Melbourne market, loading from Bacchus Marsh, Werribee and transporting to food processing in Bairnsdale.

Ken called his 45 year driving career to a close after his 65th birthday.