Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Ken Alder Smith, known as Smithy, was born in 1932 the youngest of a family of eight children at Echuca, Victoria. He has worked in many jobs within the transport industry starting as a young man driving taxis in Geelong. He later worked as a driver, then owner-driver, for Alltrans. Smithy, as he was known, worked, at different times, as a fleet controller for the Melbourne-based companies of Kenco, Vicstate Transport and later Pateris Transport. He was workshop controller for one of the Mayne Nickless groups and had several stints as both a local and interstate owner-driver.
As an owner driver, Ken’s preferred run was Melbourne to Adelaide; but he was regarded by many as the “go to man” for specialist work. One specialist task was his cartage of the racing car, the “Golden Arrow” to all mainland states. The Golden Arrow had been driven by Sir Henry Segrave in 1929 to claim the world’s land speed record. Ken was also called on to transport Donald Campbell’s racing car, the Bluebird, on a similar tour of the mainland.
Ken worked in a sales role at various times for the then four Melbourne-based trailer suppliers: McGrath Trailers, Fruehauf, Krueger and Freighter. He was also a salesman for Scania. His greatest pleasure was ensuring that the trailer manufacturers provided him with a personalised product that he believed reflected his own high standards when supplied to clients.
Ken was always a willing mentor to young salesmen and did not hesitate to share his vast knowledge or network of clients and friends to assist the newcomers to the industry.
In 2001 Ken retired to Tocumwal but, whenever possible, still enjoyed assisting the Goulburn Valley transport fraternity particularly Brian Hicks of Cobram and Sam Sali of Shepparton. Recently Ken has struck a few potholes in the road of good health but is well supported by his wife Nola. He has five surviving adult offspring living in Melbourne and he enjoys his grandparent duties with his many grandchildren.Ken is held in high esteem by all who have had the pleasure to know him or to work alongside him.