Husband, wife named as inaugural inductees
Alan and Kate (dec.) Murphy were declared joint inductees of the Deniliquin & District Transport Wall of Fame in 2016.
The Deniliquin couple were announced at a gala industry dinner in September, with Alan accepting the award alongside proud family members.
Mr Murphy said it was a ‘‘very special night’’ for the family and a wonderful tribute to his wife, who passed away in March last year.
‘‘I knew we were nominated but it was a surprise to be an inaugural inductee,’’ Mr Murphy said.
‘‘It was extra special to be inducted with Kate — she was a good thinker and did all the paperwork at the business.
‘‘We had three nominations from the family with my son David also among the nominees.
‘‘It’s great to be recognised in our community, especially as there are a lot of other people who have done a magic job for Deniliquin’s transport industry.
‘‘Over the years Deniliquin has been a great trucking town.
‘‘There are a number of companies here who always have immaculate trucks and are always recognisable across the country. No other town of the same size could match that.
‘‘We are a town that relies on transport and the Wall of Fame dinner and the Truck Show are great events for the region.’’
Alan was the third generation of the Murphy family to enter the trucking industry. J Murphy & Sons, named after its founder Michael James Murphy, opened in 1922 and was based in Napier St. It consisted of a transport depot, fuel depot and produce merchant.
James’ sons Norman and Fred joined the business in 1923, and eventually Norman and his wife Lilian took the reins with their sons Alan, Geoff and John working alongside them.
Alan, known as Spud, said he was involved in the industry from an early age, helping his parents load wool while he was still attending school.
He went in a different direction for the first few years after leaving school, working as a builder with Kevin Renwick, but he soon drifted back to transport.
From 1978 he became the sole proprietor of J Murphy & Sons after his brothers pursued different careers, and he continued to expand the business.
After meeting and marrying Kate, together they dedicated their working life to the family business.
Kate looked after all accounts payable, accounts receivable and paperwork and was the payroll officer right up until the business ceased operation in 2003.
Their passion for the industry encouraged their son David to become the fourth generation of transport operators in the family, and to start his own trucking business — Edward River Haulage.
The local Wall of Fame induction wasn’t Mr Murphy’s first honour for his work in the industry.
He was inducted into the National Road Transport Hall of Fame in Alice Springs in August 2015.