John Kelly was born on the 14th March 1932 at Warwick in Queensland. At 16 John obtained a drivers licence and began working for Western Transport in Toowoomba. He lived in a boarding house within walking distance of the depot. This was where he met his future wife Pat. She was literally the girl next door.
Westerns had a number of different brands of truck due to the companies they had bought out and vehicles were scarce due to the war. They had Leyland's, Chev's, Macks and Fords.
Dennis and Scammel trucks were imported by Western Transport. These came out as part cab-chassis units with the cabs being completed in Westerns own workshop by a Dutch coach builder. These trucks were slow and only had a top speed of about 40 miles per hour.
Later Western Transport imported Mack trucks to Australia. John's favourite was a B Model Mack V8 with a quad box, single drive. With this truck he pulled a bogie refrigerated van carting KR Darling Downs small goods to Sydney. In 1972 Western Transport sold the company to Bell Brothers in Western Australia where John remained employed for a further four years.
In 1976 John left Western Bell and started to help his wife Pat in a convenience store. It wasn't long before he decided that the shop needed a truck to cart groceries, fruit and vegetables. John found a near new R model Mack. This was to become the start of John Kelly & Sons. Under John's guidance the company went from strength to strength.
John ran his own workshop, built his own trailers and tautliners. He repaired and painted his trucks and trailers. John built the fleet to a total of 14 prime movers and trailers.
John spent a total of 53 years in the transport industry. John passed away in 1999 and the transport company that he established still runs today. Over the years his three sons have worked in the company in one capacity or another.