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09 GRENDA Lance

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2009.

Lance Grenda was born in Melbourne in February 1930.  The family initially had a milk carting business.  Lance's father saw an opportunity where the cargo "loaded itself" and in 1945 purchased a small Melbourne bus company which consisted of six buses, four bus routes and a galvanised tin shed in Dandenong, VIC.

Lance left school as soon as he was able, doing his mechanic's apprenticeship at Oakleigh Motors and assisting his dad both in the workshop and with some driving.

Grenda's Bus Service bought its first coach in 1958 with a Symonds and Fowler body which Lance claimed as his.  He loved taking away groups such as the Scouts and Guides, Marching Girls, Brass Bands and later school groups on trips to various gatherings around Victoria and beyond.  In 1962 Lance made his first trip to central Australia.  A year later his father, George, passed away.  Practical mechanic Lance and his commerce-educated brother, Ken, then took over the business.

Lananda Tours began in 1975 when Grenda's Bus Service sold the coach division to AAT Tours.  It was initially being used by AAT and Centralian Tours to instruct the drivers on out-of-the-way destinations.  The vehicles carried tents, poles and pegs, water and food, and cooking equipment on board.  Lance designed a coach camper trailer: half kitchen and half storage, and was the envy of many other coach crews of the time.  Together with its camper-trailer, it was, at that time, a fabulously appointed and luxurious way to tour the Australian countryside.

In 1978 he involved himself in the founding of ALDECC: Australian Long Distance Experienced Coach Crews.  Lance continued to operate Lananda Tours travelling to nearly every part of Australia, but Central Australia remained a favourite destination.  He would always stop to assist, his mechanical wizardry helping many drivers who had broken down on the side of the road while touring.  Many of these tours were supported by his long-term colleague, friend and cook Barbara Conner.

Lance died in October 2006.  The second Lananda vehicle that he owned (from 1985) has been donated to the National Road Transport Hall of Fame by Lance's wife, Raie and family.


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