Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.George Edmund English was born in Mount Gambier S.A. on 5.10.1924. He became an owner-driver of log trucks for about 30 years. George managed a sawmill at Myora for Softwood Holdings before carting logs for them for 30 years; some kind of record.
His first truck was a KB5 International carting ‘8 foot logs,’ followed by a Chev Blitz for carting pulp to Kromilite railway siding. Both these trucks were loaded and offloaded by hand.
Very late one night there was a knock on our back door and Chad Morgan ‘The Sheik of Scrubby Creek’ was there. Chad was in Mt. Gambier performing and went ‘parking’ at the Valley Lakes, Potters Point lookout when the handbrake failed and he and his lady friend rolled down the lakeside. George had to take the log truck to winch his car up the embankment.
George’s next truck was an American GMC bogie drive with a crane fitted to load longer logs. This was the start of easier days. Then followed a 530 Diamond T with homemade bogie crane back end, built by his brother in law Bill Laurie. Then came an Inter F1800 with V8 petrol motor which had real class. When the petrol engine wore out George fitted 2 subsequent Perkins diesels. In the 1970s George bought a new Acco C1800 bogie drive with a crane. One of George’s scariest moments was when one of the extension pins flew out and hit the front of a car following him. He was booked for an insecure load even though the truck was empty!
After a few years the day of the crane truck came to an end because of safety issues and the advent of hydraulics, the day of big machinery, came to the bush. George fitted a Hiab hydraulic crane to the Acco but did not like the new era so he sold out. For the next 12 or 18 months he drove for an old friend called Boxer Wright in the bush.
When he finished carting logs he went to work for Softwoods Holdings driving their fire trucks in the summer and working in the pine nursery during winter. George helped fight the Ash Wednesday fires and helped train the blokes to drive fire trucks in the bush.
A gentle, quietly spoken man, George was always well respected by those in the logging industry.