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WILGOX, MOFFLIN, LIMITED. Mr. Sidney Wilcox's Retire ment.
On Thursday Mr. Sidney Wilcox (Chair man of the- Adelaide Board of Directors of Wilcox. Mofflin, Limited),' the well known Australian firm of wool, .skin, and
hide merchants) retired from' the .active life' -of the firm after. 40 years' associa tion with it. 'It has been;a,very haopy time.' he remarked to a representative of The Register. 'It .was fairly . hard work in the early . days, but as we got our staff round us the load lightened; to-day we have .a remarkably good „ staff throughout Australia.' Mr. Wilcox has
MK. SIDNEY WILCOX. who has resigned from ^ the ?? firm of Wilcox, MoSlin, Limited.
MK. SIDNEY WILCOX. who has resigned from ^ the ?? firm of Wilcox, MoSlin, Limited.
had an interesting career. He is a son }f the late Mr. George Wilcox, and to wards the end of 1SS0 he, obtained his irst employment with a firm of grocers Eor a few- month*; after which.' he entered the services of the old Commercial. Bank n South Australia, in which he remained until 1887. He then went into the office of Messrs. George Wilcox & Co., and was the only clerk employed there at the time. In. 1893 he went to Sydney,, and, was managing partner there for about 12 years. After an absence abroad for two years Mr. Wilcox returned to Adelaide, and occupied an office alongside of- Mr. - Glen Legoe, and they proceeded to develop the big business from this end. Mr. Wilcox has pastoral interests, and owns Brenda Park, a beautiful property on the River Murray near Morgan, upon, which. 'he has expended a large amount of money. He is also a member of the' firm of Hamil ton & Wilcox, Limited, owners of Koona more Station, and in future he will be located in the Adelaide office of that com- pany. Fond of mechanics as &? hobby, Mr. Wilcox spends many pleasant hours in his elaborate workshop at his home at North Adelaide. His disposition to do Kood by stealth hag caused many people to be crateful to him for their advance ment' in life.. With Mr. A. E.Hamilton he and his sister have rendered great practical assistance to the ; University of Adelaide in the establishment of ? a re serve at' Koonamore Station to -enable re search in the preservation of ' native flora to be carried out. A Farewell Dinner. . Members of the Adelaide staffs of the firm recently gave Mr. Wilcox a farewell dinner at the Cathedral Hotel, North Ade laide. There were 38 people present, and Mr. Glen Legoe. who presided, proposed the toast of 'Our guest,' and referred 'in eulogistic terms to his pleasant business association, extending over 38' years, with Mr. Wilcox. Mr... Legoe'e remarks -were supported by Messrs. T: Pheips, \A.' E: losman, W. B. Holt, and B. K_ Simpson. In behalf of the staff.. Mr. Phelpa made a presentation to Mr. Wilcox, and expressed the hope that he would enjoy big retire ment for many years. Musical items were given by Misses Atwell : and Drummond and Messrs. A. G. Woods and A. E. Rosman. Firm's Romantic History. The firm of Wilcox, Mofflin, Limited, has become an im*-rtant factor in. the industrial life of Australia, due to' the energy and foresight of the founders. The late Mr. George Wilcox (Mr. Sidney Wilcox's father) was born in 1838, and came to South Australia in the Admella in 1858. He proceeded to Gawlerand opened a grocery business, ' merging in 8C0 with his father's general storekeeping mpincss under the title ? of J. and G. Wilcox. In 1860 Mr. George Wilcox was juying wool, skins, gum bark, wheat, flour, and gold, or rather ' taking these products in barter for stores and shipping hem for sale to his father, Josep! Wileox, in England, where the proceeds were used to buy English goods for- fee storeKeeping business. Mr. George Wilcox was also interested in a small wool washing plant on the Para River and in he sixties and early seventies in a boil ing down plant,' combined with soap 'and candle works. In 1872 Mr. George Wilcox sold out at Gawler and took us family . back to . England with the intention of living there, but returned to Adelaide in 1874, as he found he English climate too rigorous for him. From 1874 he intermittently bought wool, skins, and so on for shipment to England, and while actively engaged in handling these products he first came into -contact in Melbourne with Mr. William Mofflin in_J876. From an historical point of view this meeting was a momentous one. Mr. William Mofflin had proceeded to Mel bourne to take charge of a wool and pro duce brokering business, and after some acquaintance with -Mr. George Wilcox he suggested a partnership, with the idea of enterine into the export of wool, skins, and produce. The partnership was entere- into, and the firm of William Mofflin and Co. established, and. carried on until June, 1889. In 1888 a branch was opened in Sydney, and this was. the beginning of a chain of offices and branches through out Australia. A few months later a branch was opened in ? Melbourne. In 18R7 'MV S^tiot? 'nrn^rt-c- nn + nrail -flia A i)o.
aide branch. Extension- of Business. In June. 1889. Mr. William' Mofflin sold sut his half-share of the partnership to Mr. Glen Legoe and Mr. Sidney Wilcox. immediately after this sale Mr. Mofflin left for England with his wife and family, and upon his return rejoined Messrs. Blugelmann .& Rickards, who -had pre riously. separated from William Mofflin md Co. The Wilcoxes established a Syd ney office, and traded as George Wilcox md Co.;- and in 1894 the title of William Moiflin & Co. ceased to exist. ' In the same year Mr. George Wilcox retired, and save his share of the business equally to his two sons. George Seabourne and Murray Wilcox. who had joined the Syd ney staff. In 1900 Mr. Mofflin acquired Mr. Rickarda's interest, and traded until 1908 as W. Mofflin & Co. In the game year he converted, it . into a limited lia bility company. In July, 1915, George Wilcox & Co. was also converted into a limited liability company. ' From 1894 ? George Wilcox & Co. ex tended their ? interests, and . opened branches at Brisbane, Sockhamp ton. and ? Townsville. and established agency relations in Wi. However, Mof flin, Riekards & Co.. had been the first to pioneer the Queensland territory in Bris bane, and a little later Mr.vL:' M.' Triggs was sent to pioneer further north, . and had opened the Rockhampton -and Towng ville branches. The arrival of G. -Wilcox and Co., on the scene in this territory led to intense rivalry between the two organizations. While on the one hand G. Seabourne Wilcox, by bis bold buying had become known as the 'king' of , the trade, William Mofflin. sen., was handling deals of considerable size, in one instance involving the purchase of £175,000 worth of ox hides from the one source of sup: ply. Another instance of their business methods was the quiet buying during the Russo-Japanese war o£ opossum skins, which were practically a drug on the market at very low prices. G. Wilcox and Co., Limited, bought and bought until they had collected ? upwards, of 1,750,000- skins on which they eventually made con siderable profit when the revived demand set .in. . ' . '. A Big Amalgamation. . ; Prior to 1917 it had- become apparent that if the resources of the two concerns were combined and merged into one com pany, not only would the .business be more easy to conduct,- but probably the combined facilities Would- lead- to increased
| turnover, inasmuch as orders could -be readily executed and any one of a num ber of centres used as an assembling point if circumstances demanded. These proposals were earnestly advocated by Messrs. Glen Legoe and. Sidney Wilcox, representing the Wilcox interests, and by Mr; L. M. Triggs, who had been brought back to Sydney as managing director of the Mofflin interests. After many in terviews a satisfactory scheme was evolved which ultimately led to the amalgamation of the two concerns, later on floated into the present company of Wilcox, Mofflin, Limited — one of the biggest companies of its kind in the world. In addition the ?firm conducts the Border Preserving Works, founded by the late Mr. G. Wil cox, in 1900, and also the Adelaide Meat Stores, of which there are now more than a score in the metropolitan area.