FOUNDER OF BIG S.A. INDUSTRY DEAD
Mr. T. J. Richards's Notable Work MOTOR BODY FIRM'S EXPANSION
The death at his home, Cambridge terrace. Malvern, yesterday, of Mr. T. J. Richards, founder of the firm of T. J. Richards & Sons Ltd., has removed one
of the most prominent figures in the motor body build- ing industry in Australia. Mr. Richards was 89. Fifty-four years ago Mr. Richards: began business as a coach builder in a small way in Pulteney street. and the business developed rapidly under his control. Today the motor body works of T. J. Richards & Sons, Ltd., is the largest Australian - owned and controlled in dustry of its kind in Australia. Mr. Richards was born at Montacute, and after having carried on business as a coach builder in the city for a number of years, he extended his plant and established a business at Mitcham. Mr. Richards manufactured buggies, waggonettes, carriages, vic- torias, and landaus, and later developed what was known in those days as the "King of the Road" sulky. Many of the vehicles made by Mr. Richards's firm were shown in other States, and he re- ceived awards for the production of some of these vehicles. Mr. Richards was the oldest member of the council of the Chamber of Manufactures and was connected with the chamber for nearly 50 years. He was the last mem- ber of the committee which managed the chamber before its reconstruction in 1910 and the formation of the present council. He always played a prominent part in the work of the chamber, and his advice and good judgment in mat- ters affecting the welfare of the industry were always valued highly. Important Decision Mr. Richards decided to build motor bodies during the war, and the industry developed from a comparatively small coachbuilding undertaking to one of the most important manufacturing busi nesses in the State. An interesting feature of the history of the firm was that in 1919, after he had retired from active participation in the business, the company built the body of a car in which one of his sons, the present chair- man of directors of the company (Mr. H. C. Richards), accompanied by his mother and father and his wife and child, drove to Sydney and back. In that period of the development of the motor car, this was regarded as an eventful trip. Mr. Richards was particularly well known for the part he played as a judge at Royal Shows in Adelaide and in other States. He was a member of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society for a number of years, and was an officer of the Employers' Federation. Mr. Richards was the founder of the Coach builders' Association, with which he was prominently associated for many years. Although Mr. Richards had taken no active part in the administration of the motor body building works of the com- pany during the past 20 years, his in fluence was always felt in the industry. As a mark of appreciation of his ser- vices as a member of the Chamber of Manufactures, he was made a life mem- ber of the council some years ago. Mr. Richards has left five sons. Messrs. H. C. Richards, C. G. Richards, C. A. Richards, W. E. Richards, and A. S. Richards, and Mesdames J. G. Emmett. A Temme. and G. L. Heath, all of Ade- laide. His wife predeceased him by several years. The funeral will leave Mr. Richards's home for the Mitcham Cemetery at 11.30 am. today. Tribute To Work The secretary of the chamber of Manufactures (Mr. H. E. Winterbottom) yesterday paid a tribute to the promi- nent part Mr. Richards had played as a member of the chamber over a period of more than 40 years. Mr. Richards, he said, had always been-outstanding as a manufacturer in this State. He was progressive, which was shown by the fact that when the coachbuilding in dustry began to decline, Mr. Richards launched into the motor building trade with characteristic enterprise and fore- thought.