JOHN NEWTON, not surprisingly, had the call sign 'Olivia'. He was born in Rosewood Queensland on 28 April 1946.After his Dad returned from War service he purchased a Dodge tip truck carting coal in pits around Rosewood & Ipswich. John grew up on a cane farm learning to drive tractors and farm truck from the age of 10 years. John got his licence in 1964 & went on a working holiday to New Zealand driving Bedford trucks. On his return John started with R Jackson & Sons of Fortitude Valley carting general freight around Brisbane. Later John had his first taste of a B61 Model Mack driving Brisbane to Gladstone.
In 1970 John bought a second hand R600 Flintstone Mack and sub contracted to TNT refrigeration division pulling fridge vans intra and interstate. After selling the Mack, John got a job driving fridge vans with Arthur Schumacher & Co. After seven years John started with V&E Lago also hauling fridge vans local and interstate. Both of these two companies hauled freight for Borthwicks Meats. John usually did one run a fortnight for seven years loading chilled lambs in Portland (Vic) and delivering them for domestic trade from Mackay to Cairns.
In 1983 John gave up driving interstate moved out of Brisbane to settle in Townsville. where he started with the Shell Company of Australia doing local deliveries and taking road trains to Karumba, Normanton, Kidston and Greenvale. When he became redundant in 1994 he took a job driving fuel tankers with Linfox doing deliveries all over the country including to Jabiru, Darwin and Mt Isa. He eventually purchased his own Mack Superliner and two trailers and did contract work for several companies around Townsville and North Queensland. After four years he sold the truck and returned to company driving with Pattels Heavy Haulage before doing an eight year stint with Nortrans delivering Humes products, oversize tyres and other general freight.
After turning 60 John took an easier job with FCL and was in Linfox employ until retiring after surgery in 2012. In later years John worked as the volunteer driver of the retirement village bus where he now resides. John spent 49 years of driving heavy vehicles.