The Australian taxi industry has a long and proud history of providing work opportunities for former servicemen and women resettling after the Second World War.
In Sydney, one company in particular, Legion Cabs, has a proud connection with the history of the rehabilitation of men and women who served in the Australian armed forces during that war.
The Australian Legion of Ex-Servicemen and Women was formed in 1944 to ‘adopt means of obtaining benefits for servicemen on repatriation, in employment, or in any other manner as may be expedient or desirable’.
From 1945, the NSW Government reserved a proportion of new taxi licences for returned servicemen, for the purposes of resettling Second World War veterans into work. New licences were allocated by ballot.
When the Government announced in 1947 that it would make available licences to operate 200 taxi buses in the Sydney metropolitan area, an active member of the legion, Mr Raymond Stanley Mayes (pictured here standing in front of his vehicle), canvassed the possibility of securing taxi licences for legion members.
A submission was put to the then Minister for Transport, Mr Maurice O’Sullivan, who agreed to allocate 50 taxi licences to legion members. Thus Legion Cabs was born. The Minister later allotted quotas of taxi licences to other ex-service organisations.
Legion Cabs, under contract to DVA, continues to honour the Anzac spirit and commitment to Australia’s veterans and war widows by providing quality taxi services to the ex-service community when its members travel for medical treatment. Many beneficiaries of returned servicemen continue to own or operate taxi licence plates.