Industry mourns Ed Cameron

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed


Ed Cameron will be remembered for his humility, generosity and for bringing Kenworth trucks to Australia.

Industry mourns Ed Cameron
Industry icon Ed Cameron passed away on July 16.

 

Australia is mourning one of its most respected trucking pioneers, Ed Cameron, 93, of Doncaster, Victoria.

Cameron passed away at Broadbeach, Queensland, on July 16.

While his greatest legacy is undoubtedly bringing the Kenworth brand to Australia, Cameron is also remembered for operating interstate transport company, D & E Cameron Transport, from 1946 to 1970.

His contribution to the industry continued after retirement. Cameron was a generous supporter of the National Road Transport Hall of Fame. He was inducted to the Wall of Fame in 2002 and became an Icon of the Industry recipient in 2015.

Hall of Fame CEO Liz Martin describes Cameron as ‘one of the nicest, most humble men’ she ever met. "He really was just a genuine down-to-earth, salt-of-the-earth type bloke. I was really lucky to have him as a friend.

"One of the things that he did was highlight to us that we didn’t necessarily have to have what we were given from Britain – trucks that overheated in the heat and weren’t quite able to handle the heavy loads we needed to cope with our rough roads.

"Ed worked with Kenworth to make sure the specifications were what he thought would suit Australia."

After WWII Cameron and his brother Don bought their father’s 1935 Dodge to cart produce from Doncaster orchards to the Melbourne market. (Their brother Les later joined them at D & E Cameron.) By the end of 1946 they were regularly carting produce up the Hume Highway to Sydney.

The fleet grew in response to demand, but throughout the 1950s Cameron considered British and European trucks unsuitable for the Hume Highway’s steep climbs and deteriorating road surfaces.

After lengthy negotiations he imported several S Model Kenworths from the USA for the D & E Cameron fleet.

In 1962 long-term employee Peter Cerveri drove one of the company’s first Kenworths.

"Ed Cameron was a lovely man to work for and he listened to you," Cerveri says. "You could talk to him anytime you wanted if you had a bit of a problem.

"He had a lot of faith in people. That’s why everybody stayed there for so long. We respected him but he respected us as well."

Cameron Kenworth Importers brought more than 100 Kenworths into Australia during the 1960s. Cameron also operated Australian Kenworth Truck Sales which handled sales and parts.

He sold both businesses to Kenworth’s American parent company in the late 1960s. D & E Cameron was sold to Mitchell Cotts in 1970.

Since then Cameron’s son Glen has established his own transport company, Glen Cameron Group.

Paccar and Kenworth Australia released a statement, saying they were saddened by the death of Cameron, extending their condolences to his family.

A service to celebrate the life of Ed Cameron will be held at Doncaster Church of Christ, Doncaster, Victoria on Friday, July 22 at 1.30pm. A private cremation will be held earlier.

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