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Year: 2002


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2002.

Jim McConville was born in Quorn, SA in 1910.  He attended both St Joseph's Convent and Quorn Primary Schools.  He achieved top marks in the QC Exam and dreamt of becoming a teacher, however his parents could not afford this.  Aged 14, in 1924 he started work at 'The First Garage', Quorn.

To earn extra money he and a friend showed movies in the Quorn Town Hall.  When 'talkies' arrived they made their own device to synchronise the sound with the film.  He later put this expertise to good use when he moved to Alice Springs showing movies at both outdoor theatres.

In 1936 he became a mechanic at the Dept. of Interior in Alice moving rapidly to become Superintendent of Workshops throughout the NT.  In this capacity he was seconded to the WW11 Allied Works Council, supervising the maintenance of all plant and machinery used in the construction and sealing of the road to Darwin.  He held the only Civilian Pass to all restricted areas in the NT, northern WA and Qld.  In 1997 he was posthumously awarded the Civilian Service Medal 1939 - 1945.  He maintained the AEC prime-mover and self tracking trailers of the first road trains in Australia before and during WW11.  He made them available to Kurt Johannsen to copy.  Jim and Kurt used the AEC self tracking design to make their own trailers.

Jim's trailers were capable of carrying up to 38 tons.  Their main activity was on the Alice - Tennant Creek run, carting north an average of 200 tons of general and perishable freight per week, returning south with 300-500 tons of copper concentrate from Peko Mines.  Jim was involved in drawing up new articles of association of the TTA and even after his retirement in 1966 his advice was sought on the transport industry.  Jim married Maud Rodgers in 1930 and had seven children.  He died in September 1986.

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