Six industry heroes honoured on Wall in two years
Three transport industry icons were inducted into the Deniliquin and District Transport Industry Wall of Fame on Friday night.
Allan Watson, Neil Scott and Ludvik ‘Victa’ Lumbar (dec) were honoured for their contributions at a gala dinner at the Deniliquin RSL Club, as part of the threeday Deniliquin Truck Show & Industry Expo.
They were selected from 11 nominees by an independent judging panel.
All three trucking stalwarts boast impressive careers in the industry.
For Neil Scott, the purchase of his first truck in 1950 was a means of making money in his new hometown of Deniliquin.
This turned into an almost 40 year career for Mr Scott, which also gave his children an introduction into the industry and the business world.
‘‘I came from a station about 90 miles the other side of Balranald and eventually my sister took over the property and I came to Deniliquin to live,’’ he said.
‘‘I always had an interest in trucks. The opportunity turned up (to buy one) and I was doing nothing else at the time.
‘‘In 1950 I bought my first truck and started carting sheep.
‘‘My brother and sister had a shed here in Deniliquin, so that fed well into stock carting.’’
Mr Scott started modestly, but grew his business to a fleet of eight trucks, at the same time as growing his family.
Eventually his three children — Bruce, Wayne (dec) and Lynda — joined him in the family business.
‘‘When dad sold the business in 1989 we all pursued other interests,’’ Bruce said.
‘‘Wayne remained a truck driver, but Lynda and I went in another direction.
‘‘I now design programs, but I work with Purtills so I’m still connected to the transport industry in some way.’’
The weekend was bittersweet for the Scott family, with one of 16 plaques in a memorial service on Sunday dedicated to Wayne Scott.
Like Mr Scott, Mathoura Bulk Grain & Fertilizers owner Allan Watson also boasts a 40 plus year career.
The business also has depots in Deniliquin and Echuca.
‘‘I’m honoured to receive the award but I didn’t know I was nominated so it was quite a shock,’’ he said.
Mr Watson said he has been involved in the transport industry since he was a youngster.
‘‘I bought my first truck when I was 17,’’ he said.
‘‘I couldn’t drive it, and it was a six or seven tonne tip-truck.’’
Mr Watson has been involved in a variety of areas in the transport industry over the years from carting stock to fertilizer, and is still actively involved in the everyday running of his business.
‘‘The industry is important for the whole community and the country — we would be lost without it,’’ he said.
The backbone of our nation’s transporting industry includes pioneers like Mr Lumbar, who arrived in Australia on January 11, 1954 from Yugoslavia. He passed away in 2001.
Beginning his journey picking grapes in Wentworth, Mr Lumbar arrived in Deniliquin in mid-March 1961 with his AA160 Inter with a 28ft strap trailer.
In Deniliquin, he cut a 12 tonne loads of firewood with his wife by his side, and then started the 10-hour trip to Melbourne to deliver his freight.
From there, Mr Lumbar began loading freight, with Gillespies hardware store being his first major client. Slowly he began to add trucks and move groceries, which was later followed by beer.
In the late 1960s Mr Lumbar moved the business to Sloane St, and by this time the Deniliquin to Melbourne service was ‘‘like clockwork’’, running up to three trucks a day.
In the early 1970s, a service pit and truck wash was added to his premises.
Mr Lumbar’s son, Frank, said his contributions to the industry are ‘‘invaluable’’.
‘‘Victa was the first carrier in Deni to make general freight a priority and do it successfully,’’ he said.
‘‘He was also the first one to cart bulk grain on a flat top trailer with grain traps in the floor (early model convertible).’’
Frank said his dad would be ‘‘pretty proud’’ to receive the award.
‘‘The industry was his bread and butter — he loved the Australian lifestyle and he was a pioneer in his own right.’’
Inductees to the Wall of Fame last year were Kate and Alan Murphy and David ‘Sherbie’ Grimison.
Other 2017 nominees were: Clyde Jennings, Eddie Carter, Herbert Gladstone Grimison, Kenneth James Grimison, Kenneth William Rose, Leslie Bond, Trevor Palmer and Wayne Scott.
2016 Wall of Fame inductees David Grimison and Alan Murphy with 2017 inductee Neil Scott, inductee Victa Lumbar's sons Eddie and Frank Lumbar and inductee Allan Watson at the Wall of Fame monument in Davidson St, Deniliquin on Sunday.