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Year: 2014


Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2014.

Patrick Albert O'Connor was born in 1937 in Tibooburra and grew up on Narriearra Station where, at 18 years of age, he drove the station's International R190 semi-trailer carting stock, wool and other freight around the local district.

In 1958 Pat got a job driving the Broken Hill to Tibooburra mail run for Northern Transport and later became an owner driver carting stock and general freight locally. He married Alice in 1963 and moved to Broken Hill where they purchased an AEC to cart stock locally. Later Pat took over the Colane mail run in the White Cliffs area driving a Ford traytop. Pat later drove in the Moomba area using his Leyland Super Hippo to shift oil rigs and cart water. He was one of the first to gain a road train licence in South Australia. When family moved to Adelaide in 1972 and Pat continued to haul general freight to Moomba, Alice Springs and Darwin. The road from Adelaide to the north was dry, dusty and unsealed. The truck shook to bits on the corrugations, dust permeated every available space and tree roots and discarded bits of other wrecked trucks staked your tyres. On one trip Pat had to mend 37 tyres.

In those days second or dog trailers could not be driven south of Port Augusta so single trailers were driven from Adelaide to Port Augusta with a return journey to pick up the other trailer. In 1974 Pat was one of the drivers who carted goods and materials to rebuild Darwin after Cyclone Tracy. In 1981 he sold the truck and trailers and worked for BAM Construction until his retirement. Pat was highly regarded at the Levels Diesel Depot, Adelaide, for his skills and ability with all things mechanical. His welding was exceptional and passion for trucking outstanding.

Pat's camaraderie and assistance to other operators on the Alice Springs to Darwin run is a fine example of his character. Frozen food and general freight was carted in good times and bad. There were may hardships and unreasonable conditions on the road but Pat repaired his and other operators' rigs as needed. He is highly regarded by his many mates for on the road.


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