Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.
Arthur Thomas Burton was born in 1933 to William and Robina Burton, a pioneering family in Pheasant Creek. As a young child Arthur often went out with his father in their Chev four and later Chev six, to fell trees, cut, split and stack fire wood. This initiated Arthur’s lifelong love of trucks.
At the age of 14 Arthur left Kinglake West Primary School, which was built on land donated by his great grandparents, to help his father pick peas and dig potatoes. In July 1949, at almost 16, Arthur began a trucking partnership with his brother and bought their first truck; a Chev Blitz which they used to haul potatoes from Kinglake to the railhead at Whittlesea and into Melbourne.
Over the years various trucks were purchased by the brothers including Commers, Bedfords, Internationals, Fords and Volvos. However, it was a 1951 REO that was definitely Arthur’s favourite truck.
“She pulled like a bull ... went like the clappers ... flew like a shower of shit”.
In 1960 Arthur started working for Jack Nichols, Potato Agent, carting to Melbourne, Wangaratta and Benalla. During the off season he carted logs, sawn timber, wool and general local cartage.
In 1968 Arthur went into business on his own establishing A T BURTON Cartage Contractor. He carted up to three loads of potatoes a day to Fiorelli Packers, near Mt Waverley. These were 150lb bags and had to be all loaded and unloaded by hand. Arthur never tied his loads down. They were expertly packed and could be unloaded in 20 minutes every time.
Known locally as AA ‘Accurate Arthur’, farmers would specifically request Arthur to make their deliveries as he was always reliable and on time. One neighbour recalls how he used Arthur as his alarm clock. Every morning he heard Arthur rumbling down the road he knew it was time to get up to go to work. However, one morning Arthur had an early load so left at 2.30am instead of the usual 4.30am and the neighbour was two hours early when he arrived at work.
Arthur continued to pick up casual cartage into the mid 1980s before taking a permanent position with Yates Garden Supplies in 1993. He continued with them until his retirement in 2001 after a long and industrious life in the road transport industry.