HARRISON, Peter

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

Peter Harrison was born in October, 1930, at Balranald, Victoria where his parents operated a wood cutting business.  He took his first job,  at the age of 14,  with Bartlett’s Garage in Balranald. The garage included the local taxi service and, as young as he was,  Peter was often called on to drive the taxi. There was a shortage of manpower during World War Two and women and young men were often called upon to do what was traditionally deemed “Mens work”. Peter enjoyed driving and after his father died in 1948 worked with his brothers doing wood cutting and installing the Jeraly-Balranald telephone line.

In 1950 Peter’s mother, Kathleen, together with her four sons, Jack, Eric, Peter and Ginger, established the road transport business K. Harrison and Sons, Balranald.  In 1952 Peter won the Balranald to Hay mail contract which he held for eight years. During those years he would often deliver the mail from Hay to Balranald then take a truck on to Melbourne or elsewhere overnight and be back the next day to load the mail and return to Hay. Most weekends they also operated a shuttle service of cattle from Juanbung Station to the Balranald rail where they were transported to Melbourne for the cattle sales at Newmarket Saleyards the following week.

In 1960 Peter married Ann and moved permanently to Hay where he started his own transport business - Harrison’s Hay. Peter and Ann went on to have three  sons, Peter, Brian and Michael. Over the next 50 years they ran a successful trucking business carting sheep, cattle, wool, sleepers, timber and anything else that fitted on a truck. Peter had many types of  trucks over the years with a particular penchant for Internationals; AA185 Series, AB184 Series DLine, SLine, Accos, Atkinson, International, fibreglass cabbed Atkinson. Others were Mercedes Benz 1418 and 1924, Mack F700, Louisville and  aT650 Kenworth.

Hay is on the black soil plains of New South Wales, no roads were sealed in early years, some are not today. Some of the properties were impossible to get the trucks into and to load the wool and it was carted across the muddy wet soil plains in the back of utes and smaller trucks to the drier roads where it could be loaded onto the trucks. The Cobb Highway was noted for bad roads at the time and, if you were unfortunate enough to score a trip after the rain, the trucks invariably got bogged to the axle. Peter and the drivers would sometimes have to camp out with the truck for days on end until it dried up enough to get out.

In 2007 Peter was presented with a clock by the McFarland Family to mark the significant milestone of 50 years of Harrison Transport carting of the annual woolclip from Oxley Station to Melbourne. In 2013, Peter has now retired from the road, however the Harrion Transport name lives on with sons Brian and Michael carrying on the business.


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