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Year: 2007


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2007.

John Jarvis was born in Omeo, Victoria. He lived on a farm and went to school at the Brothers. He drove the farm tractor and cultivated paddocks from the age of seven so was no stranger to machinery.

John's father sold the farm and purchased another at Swan Reach, Victoria, moving the family to a new life closer to secondary education. John left secondary school the day before he turned 14. When a truck driving job became available at Orbost with McMullens Transport he jumped at the chance and was soon driving a Leyland Comet 75hp tray-truck, picking up cream.

After carting cream through the season, John graduated to a cab-over Leyland 110hp with a 34ft Loadmaster bogie trailer (the big time), carting timber from as far afield as the Cann River to Melbourne. John then graduated to a new Albion Clydesdale 115hp with the same trailer in 1961 and drove until he and Vi married on the 2nd of November 1963. He later worked in McMullen's workshop maintaining the fleet of around 18 trucks. In October 1966, John and Vi purchased a second-hand 6-series Dodge with a 32ft single-axle trailer and started carting timber from Bairnsdale to Melbourne and back loaded with roof tiles, pipes, bricks and cement sheets ect.

By Christmas of that year it was obvious that the rig was worn out and totally unreliable. With the help of Will Bailey, the ES&A Bank, Ray Walker and Don Phillips from the local International dealership, John was able to purchase a new C-Line International powered by a 160hp Cummins with a second-hand Atkins 33ft 6in bogie. Through sheer hard work and saving, John and Vi were able to build a very successful road transport business servicing all of East Gippsland, carting fish, scallops, vegetables, timber and wool etc to Melbourne and Sydney and all general freight back into East Gippsland. In October 1986, the business was sold to Towns Haulage. At this stage, John had a fleet of 47 trucks employing 55 staff. John was a reluctant seller, but the decision to sell was made as John's health was failing.

Since 2004 John has undergone major heart surgery and is now relying on modern medical technology to keep him alive. John is determined to enjoy the rest of his days with his family on the Gippsland Lakes with Vi and his six lovely grandkids.

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