John Treloar pictured in May this year. The late John Treloar was the businessman behind Maitland’s first major manufacturing plant, Treloar Enterprises.

Mr Treloar, of Sydney, a former Australian sprinter who came close to winning the Olympic men’s 100m, died this week at the age of 84.

His long time friend and former employee Ron Harris, of Gillieston Heights, remembered Mr Treloar as an iconic


“John was the managing

director who brought Treloar Enterprises from Sydney to Maitland in 1974,” Mr Harris said.

“His industry was the first one to set up in the industrial estate in Gardiner Street, Rutherford, at a time when there was nothing else there.

“The business is still there today with the same name but a different owner.”

Mr Harris described Mr Treloar as a hero.

“I was an apprentice fitter and machinist with the business in 1974,” he said.

“I was 15 at the time. Mr Treloar was an icon and we became close friends.

“I worked my way through the ranks to later become general manager.”

The two friends were planning to see one another in the next few weeks, but it was not to be.

Mr Treloar would commute from Sydney to Maitland where his business manufactured products for the oil and

petrol industries.

He came sixth at the 1952 Helsinki Games but his hand-held clocking of 10.5 seconds placed him only a 10th of a second behind the winner, Lindy Remigino of the United States.

He competed in the post-war Olympics in London in 1948 where he reached the semi-finals of the 100m and 200m events.

He was a triple gold medallist at the 1950 Auckland Empire Games and was regarded as one of Australia’s greatest sprinters.

Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates described Treloar “as a wonderful athlete and an even greater man”.

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