Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.
Saviour John Borg, known as Sam, was born in Malta and came to Australia in 1949 at nine years of age. Sam’s grandfather had driven horse-driven coaches and his father drove for the government in Malta. It was inevitable that Sam would work in the transport industry. His career spanned from 1957 to 2010 until he retired at the age of 70.
Sam was barely 16 when he got his driver’s licence in a 1949 Ford. He initially drove four and six cylinder Albions for Edmund T Lennards in Marrickville from Sydney to Melbourne. With an average travelling speed of 26 miles an hour each trip took a grueling 36 hours. Sam also had to manage all his own deliveries and pickups.
In the years since Sam has driven many trucks including petrol Commers, TS3 Commer Knockers and the V8 Dodge ‘power giants’. In those early days Sam said it was much harder on the trucks and the drivers than it is today. He later progressed to cab-over B-model Macks and Maxidynes and over time also drove Peterbilts, a variety of Kenworths, Ford Louisvilles, Western Stars and Volvos.
During his lengthy trucking career Sam drove for many of Australia’s most iconic transport business including Gales, Flemington, Borg Muscat (manufacturers of Borcat and Muscat trailers,) Mayne Nickless, Jetspress, Pioneer Concrete, Brunskill Transport, R G Burkinshaw and Mathews Haulage. Most of his driving was throughout Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia.
Sam has many good memories of his time on the road, especially the mateship of his fellow drivers and delicious home-cooked meals in family roadhouses. What he did not enjoy about his trucking days was being away from home, often for months at a time. These long spells away from home were referred to as ‘tramping’ in those days. Like many old timers of his era Sam says the mateship and camaraderie seems to have disappeared from the modern industry. Instead the mobile phone is the driver’s best friend.