Ante Jelavic came out from the village of Ravca, Croatia and arrived in Auckland in 1904. He worked on roading and railway lines before heading north to dig gum. He settled in Waiharara, and in 1921 he married Mary Srhoj. In 1930 he bought land at Waiharara in the far north with his nephew Mate. They developed it together and raised their respective families, but the block was too small to support both families and their children so after WW2 Ante and Mary sold out their share to Mate.They brought their family of 5 boys and 3 girls to Riverhead in 1947.
Yelavich Brothers Ltd was formed in October 1947 when the Yelavich family moved to Riverhead from the far North and brought, what was then “the Riverhead Carrying Company”. The company soon moved into quarrying and in 1953 started what was to be a long occupation of running the Waitakere Quarry. Over the years Lou, Wally, George and Bob employed many locals and at times had as many as 30 staff members. Providing the aggregate for the local community and councils meant that they also ran a fleet of trucks, the number varying between 4 -8 at any one time. International was the preferred brand in both quarry machinery and trucks and a long time association with the International brand still continues today.
Over the years Yelavich Brothers went through the highs and lows of the NZ economy and while running a successful family business, forged many business relationships and friendships along the way. In 1997 the brothers proudly celebrated 50 years in business with family, friends and business partners formed over these years.
In 2001 the three elder brothers sold their shares and under the guidance and ownership of Wharahine Contractors Bob continued to run the Yelavich Brothers brand in the quarry and trucking operation.
It was at this time that Milan and Angela, after returning from coaching rugby in Ireland created Yelavich Transport Ltd. From the formation as a single truck operation Yelavich Transport soon had two truck and trailer curtain siders and then two tip truck units joined the fleet along the way. After Perry Aggregates brought the Waitakere quarry off Wharehine Contractors Bob, Milan and Angela joined forces again to combine the two trucking divisions together as one at the long time Riverhead base.
With the closure of the Waitakere Quarry and the recent housing boom in the greater Auckland area, it was decided in 2016 that Yelavich Transport would re-locate the business to 20 The Concourse, Henderson. After 69 years this was not an easy decision, but one made in an ever changing landscape for our business. From this more central location, the company now runs a supply yard for customers and is ideally located close to the North Western Motorway allowing easy and 24 hour access for construction vehicles.
If you are in the area, you are more than welcome to drop in and discuss anything from work through to rugby, fishing or stories from the past with the Yelavich crew.