DOLDER, Henry (Harry)

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.

Henry (Harry) Dolder was born in 1925 at Fish Creek in Victoria. There are three things he has a passion for: horses, trucks and family. In 1948 he moved to Wodonga and started trucking. As a pioneer truckie he drove his 29hp Chev Maple Leaf on the Old Hume Highway. A trip from Albury to Sydney was sixteen hours and a trip from Albury to Geelong took nine hours. In those days there were no log books but they did have trip cards and, if a mistake was made, the card could be torn up and a new one started.

Those days were tough. Fuel rations were applied and many businesses met their downfall. Harry says of those times that the best thing was that mates could always be relied on and that camaraderie on the roads was exceptional. A fellow truckie would always stop and give a hand even if they were strangers. There was a special bond between drivers.

Harry bought his first truck, a K5 International for £100. His second purchase was a K5 tray 1942 model Chev Maple Leaf for which he paid £150. This truck was used to carry car bodies from Ford in Geelong to Sydney. On the return Harry was loaded with Ford panels. He was paid when he returned and had completed the paper work. At this time there was no interstate travelling between midnight on Saturday and midnight on Sunday. During these hours Harry saw to the loading of freight.

Roadair and Border Express were two companies Harry really enjoyed working for and he made many mates there. A favourite truck was a Leyland and after he had retired this truck was given to him. It is said that Harry got it because no-one else could drive it.

For a while he drove buses carrying the migrants of the 1950s to Bonegilla and the workers to Bogong village to work on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric scheme. One job he hated was driving a log truck in the snow. It was the shortest lasting job Harry had because he considered it to be the unsafest work known to man.

Harry is now retired but still has the strong belief that trucks are the backbone of Australia because only trucks can deliver anywhere at any time all that Australia needs to live.


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