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Year: 2015

Herbert Ernest Nelson was born on the 26th December 1915 in Darling Victoria and was educated around Hurstbridge and Eltham. He was best known to everyone as Old Bert. He married Lorna in 1941 and unfortunately passed away in 1987.

Bert moved to Balranald in 1930 with his father looking for work and started in the transport business with his father-in-law. He became part owner of RJ Lansdown Transport then with his brother-in-law Edgar (Ted) Lansdown they started Balranald Transport Service. The partnership went on for about 30 years. Along with the Transport, they started up an ice works, Balranald Ice Pty Ltd where they bought rabbits, kangaroos and fish to cart to Melbourne. Old Bert then bought Ted out. By this time the business had grown, with many people employed.

Bert and Lorna had three sons and a daughter, two of the boys were driving trucks for him and his daughter was working in the office. They had Foden R190s and other trucks. Bert carted market goods, wool and Mallee roots to Melbourne and brought general freight back. He also had sheep crates and a lot of stock was transported. They first had a one deck, then a two deck and then a 2½, that was big for those days. In the early days you had to be a driver, mechanic and tyre changer.

With the boys in the trucks, Bert stayed in the yard at the ice works. He was always in the workshop with his lathe which he could make talk. Bert had to retire in the 1980s due to ill health. His name is still in trucking with K & SL Nelson and Balranald Transport.

She'll be right mate was Old Bert's motto whenever he made something for someone to get them out of trouble. He had a heart of gold.

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