Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.
Robert (Bob) Solomon Wainwright was born in Roebourne, Western Australia and began his 66 love affair with trucks at just 15 years of age. With a special licence he drove a 15 cwt Bedford delivering bread around Carnarvon and surrounding district.
Later that year he delivered the Royal Mail, travelling to Gascoyne Junction, Exmouth Gulf and outlying stations, vividly recalling having a 45 pistol under the seat of the 1936 Bedford truck. He had been told that the mail MUST get through at any cost!
From 1944 to 1951 he worked for a Perth-based firm, Bell Bros. delivering merchandise in the Perth area and refurbishing airstrips in Onslow, Broome and Derby. He purchased his first truck in 1951 when he was aged 23. It was a 160 International that he used contracting to carry lead ore from a mine into the Derby wharf. In 1952 he joined the Main Roads Department to work on the Great Northern Highway, Broome to Fitzroy Crossing then further north to Cockatoo Sands, ninety miles from Wyndham.
In 1953 Bob, together with Lou and Kevin Kent, formed KWK Transport in Derby and until 1957 operated the Kimberleys. After relinquishing his partnership in KWK in 1957, he lauched East Kimberley Transport in Wyndham with Leo Will and after 21 years sold it to Noel Buntine in 1978. Up to the 1960s most roads were little more than tracks. After a trip into the Bungle Bungles in 1983, Bob decided it was time to become a tour operator. Now 25 years on, and after a name change to East Kimberley Tours, Bob, Norma and the family continue with the company. Bob was a driver and guide with the company for 20 years. As a community service in 1952 and 1962 Bob used his trucks and equipment to help build the public swimmming pools in Derby and Wyndham. He was a transport rep on the committee for the states Northern Development Council in the 1970s.
Now over 80, Bob is a volunteer leader with Kimberley Toadbusters, travelling each weekend over the NT, WA border catching and disposing of toads.