Transport World saddened by Ron Carey's passing

2nd December 2019

The Transport World family is saddened to have lost one of its greatest friends.

Canadian philanthropist Ron Carey, who hailed from Calgary, was killed on 3 November in a collision on a motorway near London while taking part in a veteran car rally.

The 80-year-old played a vital role in the development of the collection that would one day become Bill Richardson Transport World.

Collection curator Graeme Williams says there are four trucks originally owned by Carey found within the Bill Richardson Transport World collection.

Bill himself visited Carey in Calgary and purchased a 1912 Pierce-Arrow, a 1932 BG Mack, and a 1923 GMC from him.

“When Bill went over to Calgary to visit Mr Carey, there was a 1918 AC Mack truck that Bill was quite keen on but at the time it wasn’t available for sale. After Carey came to Invercargill in 2006 to take part in the Vero Rally, and saw the scope and quality of Bill’s collection for himself, he contacted the then-curator Ian Ridd and volunteered to add the AC Mack to its ranks,” Williams says.

The shared interests between Bill Richardson and Ron Carey would have brought the pair together, despite the two of them hailing from opposite sides of the globe, he says.

“Ron Carey was very big into oil memorabilia, and he was a huge collector of veteran and vintage trucks. He’s also been very heavily involved in a number of museums and is a bit of a patron for some of them. Like Bill, he was very highly regarded – so their knowing one another is probably due to those shared interests and their reputations,” Williams says.

Transport World owner Scott and Jocelyn O’Donnell say their thoughts are with the Carey family at this time.

“Bill Richardson Transport World has lost one of its great friends with the passing of Mr Carey,” Scott O’Donnell says. “It was almost uncanny that Ron Carey, Jim Cooper (who originally owned the museum’s early Henry Ford collection) and Bill Richardson lived and worked in different parts of the world – they shared so many similarities, you would have thought they had lived alongside one another all their lives.”

British newspaper The Telegraph reported that Carey's wife Billi was reportedly also involved in the collision and was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Carey was founder of J&L Supply, a company which worked as a supplier to the oil industry in Canada. Carey preserved antique vehicles as well as oil and gas memorabilia, many of which he donated to museums for public view. He was also renowned for his contributions to his community, notably a children’s hospital and air ambulance service.