Lachie Griffen O.N.Z.M

Lachlan (Lachie) Griffen, born in Christchurch in 1922 settled in Governors Bay at the age of 2. At 15, Lachie commenced work on a Governors Bay orchard but quickly moved to driving trucks for a local transport operator.

War intervened in 1940, with Lachie enlisted to the army as a tank driver with C Squadron of the 19th Battalion Armoured Unit in 1943 in Italy. 12 months later he was enlisted to serve in the Occupation of Japan.

On completion of hostilities and his return in 1946, Lachie got a job driving and labouring for R H Blatchford Limited, a local sand and shingle supplier. In 1951, Lachie and two partners set up Governors Bay Transport Limited, investing his rehabilitation loan received as a returned serviceman in the business. After a short time, he brought his two partners out becoming sole owner of the company.

Lachie developed a transport company that would be quite pioneering in many of its approaches, as it faced the difficulties of servicing the needs of a rural community in hilly, difficult terrain. During this time he became known for his lead in pioneering the Cyclone stock crate, in conjunction with Cyclone Industries. A convertible two-deck sheep and one-deck cattle crate with pipe frame and cyclone netting.

In 1974, Lachie successfully won the tender for the school bus run, leaving Barry Blatchford to take over control of Governors Bay Transport. A Hino 27 seater bus was purchased providing school bus transport for children in the Banks Peninsula region.

Lachie attended his first road transport meeting in Christchurch in 1951, later serving as Chairman of Road Transport Alliance. In 1994 he was awarded life membership of the Road Transport Association.

Lachie recently passed away and will always be held in the highest regard in his community, where he played a very active part in local body politics and community affairs in his beloved Governors Bay, commonly being referred to as the mayor of Governors Bay.

Some of Lachie’s photos from his days in road transport…