Wartime grader back where it started

A World War II era grader will be returned to its old stomping ground and restored after a South Australian family donated the machine to Horsham Rural City Council.

The Malcolm Moore Road Master Grader, with a Fordson Tractor underneath it, was purchased by the Arapiles Shire, now part of HRCC, in 1942.

Council fleet coordinator Warren Kennedy said the Hunt family of Wirrega North near Bordertown were the most recent owners.

“It was their father’s wish to donate the grader back to where the grader was purchased and worked as the Arapiles Shire No 2 Grader,” he said.

“It worked in the Arapiles Shire until the mid-1950s and was auctioned off and purchased by the Farley family of Goroke who eventually moved to South Australia, then the Hunt family purchased it,” Mr Kennedy said.

Council is currently considering options for the relic’s restoration.

“The Hunt family are willing to donate Fordson Major parts to get the grader operational again but it is thought that it might be better to have its rusted out panels and tyres replaced. The non-period parts could be removed and the machine then painted it to its original colours with original sign writing,” Mr Kennedy said.

“It can then be fenced off, mounted on a slab and admired hopefully somewhere in the former Arapiles Shire area or perhaps the entrance to the Council depot, along with Council’s steam roller.”

Mr Kennedy said the grader was built in Port Melbourne by Malcolm Moore Engineering.

“Malcolm had a very interesting life that you can research on the internet. He had a lot to do with starting the Flying Doctors and his uncle was head surgeon at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

“The grader was built during the Second World War years. Due to a lack of materials, labour and all focus being on the war effort, the grader was unconventionally built on top of a Fordson Major Tractor,” he said.

/Public Release. View in full here.