Hall of Fame Inductee 2015
For 47 years Dave Potter’s grandad delivered parcels around Dunedin using horse and cart.
Over the years he had six draughthorses, all called Dick, and was the last carrier using four-legged horsepower when he finally hung up the tackle.
As a boy, Dave would help his grandad on his rounds and believes that was where he got his interest in transport, from his Grandad. It certainly led to a long and varied career in transport for the RTANZ Region 5 Association Executive who decided at the end of last year to retire after 21 years of service to local transport operators.
Dave’s first job after leaving school was as a delivery boy for Briscoes before training as a cinema projectionist. But that was just a sideshow before he got on the road, driving buses for the Dunedin City Council, then as furniture truck driver, (Crust & Crust Ltd). Then, in 1972, the job he really wanted came up, driving the Midland Coaches Starliner between Christchurch and Dunedin, as well as tours around the South Island. It took real determination to get the job. He had a job offer in Christchurch within a week.
After six years driving he was moved into an office job and then, in 1979, sent back to Dunedin as Manager, replacing the man who’d turned him down initially. In 1984 Newmans asked him to start up a Dunedin operation for them before transferring him back to Christchurch as fleet manager for the South Island. In 1990 the company was taken over and he left. He was then offered a position driving for Dave Newton Transport in Christchurch who was contracted to Shell NZ carting kerosene and fuel around Christchurch.
In 1990 he was asked to apply for the position as Secretary of the Otago Road Transport Association, a move back to his home town he and his wife Diane were more than happy to make. In 1994 he became regional secretary for NZRTA Region 5 – and the rest is really history.
Road Transport Forum life member Ian Pheloung was on the panel which appointed Dave in 1990 and he has never regretted the decision. “He’s been a wonderful servant to the road transport industry in the south. He’s one of the old school with his heart in the right place”.
Current Road Transport Forum Director and former Chairman Warren Hamilton is just as positive. He particularly mentions Dave’s attitude. “He’s always going to find an answer and he does it in such a cheery manner. The thing that really impressed was his rapport with the CVIU, local councils and testing agencies and also with the members”.
Hamilton says he’s become a good friend and has two loves in life - food and golf. A golfer for 37 years, who says his game is “as poor as ever”, in 2010 he made an eagle at his St Clair golf club, where he is also a life member.