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03 MASON Stan

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2003.

Stan Mason was born in England in the industrial city of Leeds.  At age 13, Stan started work with a mechanical engineering company.  Feeling unsettled after WW11, Stan decided to migrate to Australia in May 1949.

The Vestey Pastoral Organisation offered Stan a position studying the use of road transport as a replacement for drovers.  There was a drought and Vesteys hoped for a more efficient method of getting their cattle to Rockhampton meat works in a good condition to sell or put through the abattoirs.

In 1951 Stan arrived at Helen Springs Station in the Northern Territory.  He was met by an old ex-army AEC Monarch with a torn and broken canvas roof and no top-half doors.  In 1954 he moved to Alice Springs to spend some time with Kurt Johannsen and learn about roadtrain operations.  All the information he gathered was ultimely presented to John Vestey.  He also recommended things like sleeping cabins, good ventilation and power-assisted steering to make the drivers more efficient and productive.  They also wanted a vehicle powerful enough to pull another trailer thus increasing the payload for greater profits and efficiency.

Hence, the idea for the Rotinoff Viscount was born.  In 1957, the arrival of the Rotinoffs in Australia was greeted with much excitement.  These two unusual London-built trucks were the undisputed "Kings of the Head," at times pulling three trailers.  Stan later worked maintaining and driving Foden trucks in Alice Springs.  The red sand, the glare and the long days and nights behind the wheel of transport vehicles, especially when they were moving cattle, had taken its toll on Stan's sight, and if he'd stayed in the Territory there was no doubt he would have been affected with blindness.  Stan, now in his 80s, and with failing eyesight, can no longer drive.  He lives in Raymond Terrace, NSW with his wife Valerie.  Their family lives nearby.

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The Road Transport Historical Society

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