SCOWN, Edmund

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

Edmund Charles Scown was born in Mildura on the 28th March 1928.  He is known as Eddie to his family and friends.  In his early years of truck driving he soon became known as “Spider” Scown.  This nickname was quite appropriate as people would say he could tether his load like a spider spinning a web.

His business was registered as Border Transport with depots located at Murray Downs (NSW) and Station Street, Lake Boga, Victoria.  He trained to be a mechanic at Ford in Geelong.  He first became involved in road transport in 1945 when he was 17 years of age.  The first truck he drove was a 1945 Maple Leaf which he remembers was comfortable to ride in and to drive.  He was in partnership with his father for a short time and mainly carted fruit and general freight to Melbourne.  In 1946 he drove a Federal (bogie-semi), and in 1947 he drove a Federal (tray and trailer) followed by a Studebaker.

Eddies’ favourite truck of all was a green Ford F750 purchased in 1968. He had 7 trucks at one time with the majority of them being Fords.  Fords were a particular favourite because he felt they were reliable, affordable and easy to maintain.  As the years progressed he was transporting goods all over Vic, N.S.W and Q.L.D.  The roads were very challenging in bad weather, as they were mainly dirt and gravel: nothing like the roads these days.  Eddies’ wife Thelma played a major role in the business; she took all orders and did the bookwork.  This was on top of raising their five children.

One of the funniest things Eddie remembers was saying to one of his drivers, “Les, you have to take a load of oranges to Tasmania and bring back apples.” Les replied, “I’m not gunna drive all that way unless you put some new tyres on the truck.”  The saddest thing that he remembers is seeing an accident at a railway crossing near Colac. A farmer and his small son were both killed in their truck.  Some of the most unusual loads were: carting frozen rabbits to Sydney,  in 1947 carting ingots from Lake Boga to Sydney which were melted down flying boats from the repair depot at Lake Boga.

Technology has improved greatly. Trucks are repaired quicker, computers are used for picking loads.  The technology is better for communication and directory.  Rules and regulations have improved for the better regarding speeds, weights, lengths and driving times.  Eddie said it was possible to strike up some good friendships that last forever and that the comradeship that he has experienced is a very memorable part of his life.