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Year: 2008


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2008.

Raymond William Keating was born in Bendigo in July, 1931.  Ray, a second-generation transport man, started his career at 15 driving a 1937 Chev, doorless and at the mercy of the elements between Bendigo and Melbourne.

A gas producer was added due to petrol rationing during wartime.  History has it that a Melbourne policeman pulled Ray up twice for being unlicensed, on the third time stating "I suppose you can drive as good as your father."

Ray was never worried about the law again and legally gained his licence at the age of 17.  He first purchased a 1948 Ford furniture van and his semi between 1954-1956.  A 180 International carrying general freight, subcontracting for TNT, followed this.  Later on he transported sandstone blocks at five ton each, three at a time, from Ceres Geelong to Bendigo during the construction of the Sacred Heart Cathedral.  Ray then moved to Swan Hill in 1961 to work for Forsyth and Gibson driving a 10-series Dodge.

In 1964 he drove one of the first Kenworths in Swan Hill.  This Detroit-powered cab-over was Ray's favourite truck.  It brought him lots of fond memories, shorter trip times and the sleeper made life easier BUT still no air-conditioning.  Ray went from driver to foreman then manager at Swan Hill Transport for just over nine years.

After driving for 58 years, Ray retired with an unblemished driving record.  In his retirement he lived in Swan Hill with his wife and family and enjoyed telling many yarns and remembering the friendships he made.

Ray took his final farewell trip on the 25th July 2009.  Ray was a very proud inductee and is considered inductee and is considered a true hero of the highway.



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