Francis “Bede” Royan was born in 1910, Bede’s father migrated from County Mayo Ireland in 1880, the year that Ned Kelly was hanged. He received a land grant and started a farm and family at Hannan Vale near Taree.
At age 16 Bede left home and managed to get apprenticed to Littlejohns Garage at Lidcombe (a suburb of Sydney) as a motor mechanic.
The great depression arrived not long after he finished his apprenticeship. Times were hard and he made do with a job delivering bread by horse and cart until a job came up at Balmain Bros, the Ford Distributor in Cooma, NSW. He packed up his family and moved to Cooma.
Bede was eventually put in charge of the workshop and stayed in Cooma with his family until the War started. He left Cooma and went to live in Parramatta, where he worked at a munitions factory during this time.
As the War was coming to an end, he was working shift work and this enabled him to do mechanical repairs on mostly old cars and trucks as the army was using the newer vehicles.
The war finished and there was big demand for vehicle repairs so he moved to a wood and coal yard in Parramatta that one of his customers owned. After many years struggling he managed to get ahead and purchase the Parramatta property.
In 1948 his son Ron joined him in the business and a few years later his son in law Don Andrews joined him in the office.
Retirement had begun for Bede.
Ron and Don got on well and formed a partnership that lasted for many years until they retired and passed it on to the next generation.
Today The Royan Group is the largest Truck & Trailer accident repair business in Australia with branches in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Wagga Wagga, Dubbo & Newcastle.