Hilton Everson was born on the Macleay in 1916. Hilton was the son of Charles and Florence Everson. Sadly, his mother died when he was just five years old and he was then raised by Magnus and Ollie Everson of Kinchela. On the 15th May, 1977 Hilton was killed in a powerboat accident.
In 1936, Hilton purchased an old Buick motor car from Jack McEnally. With his cousin, Eric Rowe their mechanical skills came to light the Buick was reborn. Hilton’s Buick serviced people of the lower Macleay. Often he carried twenty-four people in and on top of the vehicle. His bus run from Gladstone to Kempsey was formally approved in 1936 and on December 15, 1937 he purchased his first bus, a twenty-one seater Ford V8, built by Wood Bros of Bankstown. Everson’s Motor Service had taken flight.
Hilton lived for a time on the Northern Rivers, having sold his bus service after the break down of his first marriage. He built up a bus run between Mallanganee and Casino, but his heart was on the Macleay and upon his return, purchased his old motor business and named it Mercury Roadlines.
Hiltons bus and freight service evolved with the Macleay servicing roads of dust or squelching mud, depending on the weather. Buses were always loaded to capacity daily as they transported locals to picnics, dances, picture shows and carried freight and mail. Hilton’s business was devastated by flood in 1949.
As times and transportation changed Hilton converted his buses to school buses, he knew how to move with the times.
Amidst his engineering innovations, business building and plain hard work, Hilton married Loma in 1945 and they had four children, Judy, Ken, Pauline and Brian. Hilton left an indelible mark on the Macleay and his buses, though long out of service now, will be remembered for their contribution to the growth and expansion of the Macleay Valley.
“…from its earliest days, Hilton Everson showed great mechanical and engineering ability to keep his business viable. Hilton adapted the chassis on four buses and constructed home-made bodies on these chassis to create long lived, reliable buses for his business…which over its lifespan was renowned for its personalise service to its customers.” (fleetlist.busaustralia.com)
Such was the energy and innovation of Hilton Everson.