Two log truckers among Hall of Fame inductees

Friday 7 Oct 2016

Over 570 guests from around New Zealand and Australia gathered at Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill, New Zealand to honour the six latest inductees to the NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame.

Associate Minister of Transport Craig Foss was present to award the inductees in the fifth year of the awards, but the first since the Bill Richardson Transport World facility was fully completed and opened to the public in December 2015.

The full list of 2016 inductees included well known log truck veterans:

Stan Williamson – Taranaki/Bay Of Plenty

Semi-retired at the age of 90, Stan formed Maketu Contractors Ltd in 1953. The company prospered until illness of one partner meant the breakup of the business, with Stan taking on the burgeoning logging sector. His company expanded within the usual ups and downs of the transport industry and he built a successful business before selling the last of his fleet to Rotorua Forest Haulage Ltd.

During all of this he was heavily involved with the Road Transport Association and in 1983, he was made a Life Member of No. 2 Central Executive, a Life Member of RTA Region 2 in 1983, and a Life Member of the NZRTA in 1993.

Bert Watchorn – Taranaki/Waikato

At the age of 17, Bert started driving a GMC logger for his older brother, hauling logs. After time in Australia he and his family arrived back in NZ, settling near Paeroa where he got a job with a transport operator named Gilbert Sarjant.

In 1953, he bought a small rundown transport company just out of Te Puke and in 1963 he and 5 other operators formed Te Puke Transport. He eventually took over the total shareholding of Te Puke Transport and about 5 years later sold the Te Puke end of that company.

In the early 1980s he bought 2 logging trucks with contracts, this was to change his direction again. The stock cartage was sold on and the logging side of the business grew with still a fair amount of general freight until he sold the business. The Road Transport Association recently honoured Bert, after 63 years, with a Life Membership.

The other four inductees were:
Paul Balneaves – Southland
Mervyn Solly – Collingwood, Nelson
Don Wright – Northland/Auckland
Mate Franicevich - Auckland
Derek Dumbar – Southland/Otago/Bay Of Plenty

Full biographies are attached and images can be obtained by visiting www.roadtransporthalloffame.co.nz

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