Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.
John Jongsma, known as Big John Rondon, was born in Holland in 1945 and came to Australia with his family in 1959. Although he was 14 John did not return to school but got a job at Lobethal Woollen Mill and worked at weekends on a dairy farm where he started driving trucks. At the age 16 he moved to Adelaide, where he started work with TNT as a dockhand. He later became a driver and transferred to Broken Hill where he worked all day, then did a changeover at night in a Thames Trader truck with a dog trailer. He did not have a truck licence at the time but after being stopped by the local police he decided he'd better take the test.
John wanted to drive long distance and took employment with a removal company interstate where he drove a Bedford. The call of the road was strong and he spent the next 15 years working interstate for several companies including iconic Fridgemobile. In 1982 John married his wife, Robbie, and they moved to Brisbane and purchased a 141 Scania truck and a business called RONDON Transport from Ronny Donht. This is how John earned the nick- name, Big John RonDon, as he is still known to this day.
Originally they towed general on a flattop but it was upgraded within the first 12 months to a fridge van so more diversity could be brought into the growing business. John won a contract with Meadow Lea carting margarine to Adelaide on a weekly basis. He later subbied for Robinvale Transport carting produce out of the hills and back to the Brisbane market before upgrading to a Mack Cruise Liner then to a new Ultra Liner. Rondon Transport also bought a cab-over Kenworth with a van to cart produce out of Bundaberg and North Queensland to Adelaide and Perth.
Due to ill health, John sold the Kenworth in 1993 and after the Mack was stolen and burned the next year he sold up the van and returned to being a company driver operating B-Doubles for Lindsay Brothers and Wilmots. In 1997 the couple returned to Adelaide to be closer to family. John became a relief driver for companies and owner drivers a role that still keeps him busy.