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Year: 2014

Italian-born Napoline Vittorio, (known as Paul) arrived with his family in Fremantle in 1936. It was a bewildering experience for an eight-year-old but the family soon settled in Balingup and then Mullalyup in the southwest. Life was very tough with a lot of work and no luxuries.

In 1963 he married Pam, and they had two daughters - Yvette and Donna and now three grandsons.

Paul started driving trucks as a 16 year-old on a special licence working for his father on a greengrocery round as his family had a market garden in Mullalyup. He drove a Chevrolet table top, and then an ex-army Ford V8 and finally a Dodge truck all loaded with fruit and vegetables for the householders in the area.

In 1954 Paul decided to leave home to find a job in Bunbury and was employed by Vacuum Oil Company at the Bunbury terminal.

After a few months in the depot, he delivered fuel drums to various parts of the southwest driving an International L190 carrying 32-44 gallon drums and an International 180 semi-trailer carrying 40-44 gallon drums. All of which were loaded and unloaded by hand a very arduous task.

He then carted fuels to southwest service stations driving a variety of bulk tankers ERF, Bedford, International, Volvo and Scania receiving many accident-free safety driving awards from the National Safety Council of Australia.

When Mobil Oil Co left WA, Paul transferred to BP driving a Mack truck tanker, delivering fuels to service stations and mines. Eventually the contract was given to Brambles and he transferred and continued distributing fuels.

When the Bunbury Bulk Fuel Terminal closed, and Gascoyne Trading Co took over the fuel distribution from Kewdale in Perth to its collieries, Paul drove for them in a Mercedes twin steer B-double.

As Paul lived in Bunbury, it was a very long day and more suited to someone living in Perth so in 1997 he retired.

In his retirement Paul still enjoys driving now a Mercedes motorhome (Mack Bulldog on the front) reminiscing about his days driving trucks.

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