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Year: 2008


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

Desmond Kennedy, commonly known as Des, was born in Deniliquin on the 10th January, 1921.  In 1986, a horse-drawn bus service was established between the intersection of Victoria Road and Kissing Point Road, Ermington, and Ryde (now West Ryde) Railway Station.

By 1915, the service had become motorized and continued to operate successfully.  During the years of WW11, (1939-1945), Rydalmere and Ermington both became important industrial areas.

To meet the growing demand for regular transport services, the government made available an additional 28 passenger bus.  In 1949, the bus service was passed to Bill Phillips Jnr and his mother, Sarah.  Des Kennedy joined the Parramatta Ryde Bus Services (Sydney) as the manager in 1950.  Five years later, Ivan Ferris joined the company as a body builder, later taking over as the supervisor of the maintenance and vehicle building department.

In 1976, Kennedy and Ferris purchased the business from Phillips.  Subsequently they established Riverside Bus and Coach Services Pty Ltd.  It was a huge business incorporating several other businesses including Parramatta Ryde Bus Services, the Parramatta-Chatswood Express Bus Service, Aubuan-Ermington Silver Bus Service, Parramatta-Olympic Site Bus Service, Trailer Tours Coaches Pty Ltd and Ermington Auto Services Pty Ltd (Body Builders).

Des sold the business to the NSW Government on the 28th February, 2000.  Throughout his long and distinguished career in the bus industry, Des held a variety of association positions including being elected to Fellow of Chartered Institute of Transport in 1968.  He also served on the NSW Bus and Coach Association' the Bus Industry Industrial Committee and the Australian Road Transport Federation.

He was also a very active member of the Bus and Coach Advisory committee working hard for industry issues.

In retirement, Des still maintains a strong personal interest in road transport, particularly the bus coach sector he loved so much.

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