Helping break barriers

HONOURED: James Ashley was the 1000th Hall of Fame inductee when he was added to the Wall of Fame this year.
HONOURED: James Ashley was the 1000th Hall of Fame inductee when he was added to the Wall of Fame this year. Contributed

CHESTER Hill resident James Ashley was the 1000th person to be inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame, at the 2014 National Road Transport Hall of Fame Reunion.

For the 14th year, Shell Rimula has proudly partnered with the National Road Transport Hall of Fame Reunion, acknowledging Australians for their achievements and lifetime commitment to the transport community.

This year's event has seen approximately 100 new inductees recognised for their lifetime of service to the transport industry, with their induction into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame which took place in Alice Springs on Saturday, August 30.

Profoundly deaf since birth, James' work in transport began when he was just 14 years old - cleaning trucks for 50 cents a vehicle at Toll's Chadwick depot in Canterbury.

At 15 years of age, James started out driving trucks around the yard with blocks strapped to his feet so he could reach the pedals.

It wasn't until leaving school that James was offered a full-time job with Toll Chadwick, carrying brewery supplies for Kent and Waverly Breweries as well as carting general.

For three years he drove a Leyland Comet bogey and a Ford bogey. James then drove for Lindsay Bros Transport hauling general, refrigerated vans and fork truck deliveries.

The first deaf person to obtain a B-double license in Sydney, James drove B-Doubles for 20 years before moving into operating heavy forklifts, cranes and buses.

James has since become the first and only deaf driving instructor to teach the deaf to drive not only cars but trucks.

"It's truly an honour to be inducted into the Wall of Fame and to be recognised for my passion and dedication to the transport industry," James said.

"Every day, I would get up in the morning and I would constantly break down barriers. I continue to do that and will until I retire."

Max Lane, marketing manager lubricants and specialties, Viva Energy Australia Ltd (formerly known as Shell), said it was great to be involved in the Hall of Fame.

"It's a great honour for Shell Rimula to be a part of the Australian road transport's most prestigious event for the 14th year," Mr Lane said.

"Shell Rimula's dedication to the longevity of the road transport industry's heritage in Australia is emulated in our commitment to the Wall of Fame.

"We are excited to celebrate the achievements of inductees, hear their stories and reward their service with recognition for their lifetime commitment to the industry."

The Shell Rimula Wall of Fame is part of a four day event in Alice Springs which includes the induction ceremony and the Shell Rimula Inductee Gala Dinner.

Shell and now Viva Energy Australia, has supported Australia's road transport community for more than 100 years and is committed to delivering innovative, reliable product solutions to road transport operators.

For more information on the National Road Transport Hall of Fame Reunion, visit or phone (08) 8953 8940.

Topics:  hall of fame inductees road transport truckies

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