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Year: 2015

Joseph Bruce (JB) Humphrey was born in Traralgon in 1931. His family moved to Kyabram to pick fruit whilst their father was serving in Papua New Guinea. On his return, Bruce's father started a trucking business (FB Humphrey & Sons) transporting fruit and ice around the Goulburn Valley and to the Melbourne Markets. Amongst the trucks driven by Bruce during this time were a 1939 Chevrolet, an Austin, a Fargo and K-5 and K-B6 Internationals.

In 1953 Bruce married Lyn and together they bought their own truck, venturing into the livestock carrier industry. In 1956 Bruce and Lyn moved to Benalla where they quickly expanded their business to include several livestock trucks and the local super spreading business which they sold in 1967. Over the next 30 years, JB & LM Humphrey employed many men, including sub-contractors, transporting livestock (predominately sheep) throughout eastern Australia. Large numbers of sheep were transported from Mansfield to Sydney and for many years breeding and drought stock on agistment were transported from Coonamble and surrounding districts to north east Victoria. Throughout this time, Lyn was responsible for the daily running of their business and all financial matters. Lyn was a formidable businesswoman in a predominately male-orientated industry. She managed Humphrey's Livestock efficiently, coordinating large numbers of trucks and men from their home, dealing with farmers and stock and station agents day and night.

Bruce's trucks included Bedfords, Austins, F-600 Fords, V8 Petrol Dodges, 653 Detroit and V8 Perkins Commers, 8V71 Detroit Transtar and White 892 Detroit Road Boss. In the late 1980s Bruce moved away from livestock and in an 892 Detroit Atkinson carted general freight to Perth and pulp paper back to Melbourne with his good friend, Fred Forrest.

In later years, Bruce returned to livestock and sub-contracted to Lewington's Wodonga carting two decks of cattle. Sadly ill health forced Bruce to stop driving and he passed away in November 1994. Bruce was fortunate to make countless life-long friends during his time on the road and condolence messages from all parts of Australia were conveyed to Lyn on his passing. From leaving school at aged 13 until his death, a total of 50 years, Bruce devoted himself to the trucking industry. Lyn passed away in July 2014.

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