These days Ken Tubman is best known in the city for a road named in his honour.
Fittingly it was his achievements as a driver that first saw the “happy-go-lucky” chemist come to prominence in the city.
Tubman and partner John Marshall, driving a small Peugeot 203, won the famous Redex Trial – a 6500 mile reliability race around Australia in 1953.
Nearly two decades later Tubman followed this up with victory for Australia in the World Cup Rally.
It was this outstanding overseas performance that saw Tubman named the 1974 Maitland Sportsperson of the Year.
Not only that but upon his return home Tubman was honoured with a civic reception and “Freedom of the City” by Maitland mayor Noel Unicomb.
Tubman and his team were the first from Australia to win an international rally and despite crossing the Munich finishing line 28 hours ahead of their nearest competitor there were still moments of difficulty negotiating the 11,000 miles of snow and sand across Europe and Africa, including parts of the Sahara Desert.
“When we were lost was the most frightening part of the rally,” Tubman told a 110-strong crowd at Maitland Town Hall.
“We knew if we did this two or three times our lead would be lost.”
Andre Welinski of Sydney and Jim Rediex of Brisbane made up the triumphant combination.