TAYLOR, John (Jack)

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.

 

John Maxwell Waldren-Taylor known as Jack or ‘The Admiral’ was born in Ravensthorpe (WA) in 1930. He first came to the Northern Territory with a buck jump show in 1946 and went on to become one of the true characters of the Outback in the Territory. He fell in love with the place and left the show soon after to chase the life in the bush. He loved the remote country of the Top End and spent his first few years working primarily in the cattle industry.

Jack worked on and managed several cattle stations through the late 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s including Stirling, Ooratippra, Roxburgh downs and Todd River Stations to name a few. Jack then changed direction for a while and managed Aileron pub for a number of years where he met, served and assisted many of the Territories trucking pioneers. It was a life style he was keen to try. Coupled with his knowledge of the cattle and trucking industries and his willingness to have a go at anything Jack turned to livestock haulage where he found his niche. In later years Jack carted cattle for John Fullarton and Noel Buntine. In 1965 he left for a while only to return later to Buntines where he was based at Katherine and later the road train base at Helen Springs he settled again in Katherine. Jack worked continuously for Buntine Roadways until it’s closure in 1981. Dennis Buntine, Noel’s son, then started VRT (Victoria River Transport) and Jack went to work there until Dennis sold to Roadtrains of Australia (RTA) in 1987. Jack went with the sale and worked for RTA right up until 1990.

One of the highlights of Jack’s career was driving the bicentennial Mack ‘Ned Kelly’. Jack saw his time out on the Buntine owned Lands- downe station. His time with the Buntine was far more than a 25 year working relationship. Jack was, as many of the drivers were and still are, considered to be an extended part of the wider Buntine family. Those who have driven for Buntine are considered to be legends in their own right and few more so than Admiral Jack Taylor. Jack earned himself the nickname Admiral by expertly driving his truck into the flooded Ferguson River to avoid a collision with another truck and several bystanders in his path. It was, in every sense of the word, a nickname of respect from his peers. Jack is also remembered with a trucking parking bay named in his honour. In his 56 years in the NT Jack married twice and had four children. He passed away in 2002.

 



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