MITCHELL, Richard

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2011.

Richard Charles Mitchell (Dick) was raised on a farm at Theresa Park near Camden. He and his brother Bill both left school at about 12 years old to work around the farms in the area. They eventually found themselves working in the coal mines.

When, in 1951, they had enough money they purchased their first truck to cart coal from the Burragorang Valley area. Their business grew and they moved to Campbell Street, Narellan. In 1953 they registered the company name “Mitchell Brothers Transport Pty Ltd.” In the same year he married Alma Blacker on 7th February. They had 5 children: Graeme, Lesley, Sharron, Kerry and Alan.

Richard and Bill worked hard and the business kept growing so when an offer was made by Neptune Petroleum to work a service station at Hume Highway Lansvale, an outer Sydney suburb, they took it up. Neptune was taken over by Shell. They stayed there for over 35 years.

 Soon depots were opened in Rocklea in Brisbane and in Melbourne. Finally they purchased a yard in Dandenong, Victoria. After Bill’s sudden death Dick ran the company until changing the name to “Mitchell Transport Pty Ltd.”

Richard went on to have top grade drivers and good customers where business was done over the phone on a gentleman’s agreement. Dick took the company to a point where it had work all over Australia. Some of the customers were Michael Leather, Hassal Hide, Davis Gelatine, M. M. Cables, Perelli Cables, Telstra, Monro Springs, General Motors, Holden, Ford, Mitsubishi, Bradford Insulation, BHP, Transfield, Kellogs, Smiths’ Crisps, Arnotts Chips, Bulmer Cider, Carlton United Brewerys and Namco.

He worked in a time when work was physically demanding and modern equipment was a petrol 190 Inter then petrol v8 Inters (somehow a lot of the outback fuel accounts were pubs with bowsers). Dick then turned to diesel B-model Macks followed by R-model Macks and all freight was loaded by hand and put on the floor of the trailer.

The people who worked for him held him in such regard that some had their sons work there and a couple of their grandsons. He passed away in Oct 1991 from lung cancer. The trucks stopped trading in 1997.