GILL, Neville

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.

Neville Gill started working for his father, H (Arthur) Gill, who had started the family business of HA Gill & Sons Livestock Transport in Casino, NSW,  in 1932 at the same time as the Northern Co-op Meat Company was also established in Casino.  Neville had foreshadowed an opportunity where others did not. The Gills started with ridged body trucks and initially transported dairy calves from the sale-yards and farms around the district to the meatworks.

In 1958 Neville and Arthur purchased their first Leyland Comet and the business expanded rapidly from there. By the 1960s the Gill fleet grew to include six Leyland trucks. These were mostly single axle Beavers and Comets with single-axle trailers. With these trucks the Gills covered most of the local pig, calf and cattle sales in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

When Arthur Gill passed away in 1967, the business, HA Gill & Sons was purchased by Neville and his wife Patricia. At the time they had five children; Dianne, Peter, Trevor, Suzanne and Mark. The business name, HA Gill & Sons, was changed to Gill’s Transport. With an increasing workload, enlarging the impressive red and white truck fleet was a major objective. This was achieved by upgrading to tandem-axle prime movers, double-deck cattle crates and tri-axle trailers. It all began in 1969 with the purchase, from Premier Motors Kyogle, for $34,455, of a tandem-axle Volvo F88, one of the first to be sold in Australia. In the 1970s the fleet grew to include Volvo G88s and G89s to service the local north coast area and the Northern Tablelands of NSW.

The firm’s reputation grew and as it did so did the demand for service. Depots were soon opened in Inverell and Moree for the purpose of transporting stock to and from saleyards and properties all over New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. By the early 1980s the fleet has grown to twelve and the Volvos were replaced with eight Kenworths and four Ford Louisvilles which supported both GM and Cummins motors. Gill’s Transport had a credo of “Anywhere, Anytime” and was renowned for service and punctuality.  It was proud to be able to support the community by providing transportation in times of drought and floods and at local rodeos. The business was sold in two parts in 1987 as Neville’s health was deteriorating;  the Northern River and Tablelands went to Knights Transport in Casino whilst the Moree Depot was acquired by Finemore’s of Wagga Wagga. Neville Gill is well respected in the industry and deserves this accolade. He  gives thanks to the hardworking, dedicated operators and drivers through the years and, in receiving this honour, makes special mention of his wife Pat Gill for her unstinting support, long hours of office work and the many late night meals she provided for drivers.

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