Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2013.
Brothers William (Jack) and Francis (Ginger) Harrison both got their start in the road transport industry thanks to their mothers tenacity and determination. When her husband William (Bill) died, aged 48, in 1948, he left Kathleen to run their wood-cutting business with their four sons; Jack, Ginger, Eric and Peter. They installed the telephone line from Jeraly Station to Balranald. earning enough money to buy a car and the mail run contract from Balranald to Hay. Brother Peter later moved to Hay and started his own transport business.
Subsequently, in 1950, just two years after the untimely death of her husband Kathleen and her sons established their own carrying business with the purchase of a Ford truck. The business was called K. Harrison & Sons Transport Balranald. Kathleen ran the business from home looking after administration, bookings and finances all the while looking after her family. There was always a meal ready and the door was always open. It is said she could track her boys in minutes; she knew what job they were on, where they fuelled up and where they ate along the road. No mobiles or GPS required - just a mothers instinct!
The Harrisons supplied the hotels and cafes in Balranald and Hay with wood and carted Balranald produce to the Victoria Markets in Melbourne. Ginger took his first load of tomatoes to market in an old Austin truck with no doors, just a rusty chain across the gap, when he was just 15 years old. He later had to put his age up to get a licence.
In 1951 Harrisons started carting wool from Clare and Tupra Stations. It was hard and tedious work and often meant getting bogged and camping out. In those days a well stocked tucker box was always handy and Kathleen made sure they had one. The old Ford loaded 84 bales. By the year 2001 the Harrisons could carry 135 bales on each truck. Jack was an expert at loading wool; he could stack each bale perfectly in record time. Later bales were pulled up on two pipes using a tractor, and later still a front-end loader was used.
Over the years Jack and Ginger carted livestock, sleepers, grapes, wheat, hay, and cattle. Their work took them to remote areas of New South Wales , southern Queensland, South Australia and Victoria. Their trucks included Ford, GMC, Dodge, Volvo and a White Road Commander. They also operated a C200 Atkinson, an ACCO and Kenworth SAR and W900 models. However, an International R190 was a favourite.
Family matriarch Kathleen Harrison died in 1980 in a house fire. Her son Eric also died that year. By 2005 Jack and Ginger decided to retire and the business was wound up. Ginger Harrison died in 2011 aged 74 and his brother and life-long business parter Jack Harrison died in 2012 aged 85. It marked the end of an era for the Harrison family.