Trove Tuesday

Trove Tuesday: Wonthaggi Dairy Produce Company Ltd

This week, I decided to look for any articles about my great grandfather Alexander Alexander Harley, who was a dairy farmer at Woolamai, near Wonthaggi.

Alexander was born 22 October 1866, at Rochford  Alexander grew up first in the Lancefield area, where his father was a farmer, and later the family moved to South Melbourne, where his father had a produce store.  After leaving school, Alexander worked as a French polisher.  On 25 July 1888, Alexander married Henrietta Louisa Russell, and they had two children: Harrie, born in 1889, and my grandmother, Ivy was born in 1890.  In the 1890s Alexander returned to farming, obtaining a property at Woolamai, which he and his wife named Hazel Glen.  Alexander was a dairy farmer, and as the following article shows, he was also chairman of the directors of the Wonthaggi Dairy Produce Company

Wonthaggi Dairy Produce Company Ltd

Wonthaggi Dairy Produce Company Ltd
Wonthaggi Dairy
Produce Company Ltd. (1905, April 6).Great Southern Advocate (Vic. : 1889 – 1906; 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved February 9, 2016, from


Wontkaggi. Dairy Produce Company Ltd.


The second half-yearly meeting of the shareholders in the above was held on the 21st ult, in tbe Archie’s Creek hall. Mr.A. A. Harley, chairman of directors, presided. The report and balance sheet were as follow ; —


Your directors have much pleasure iu laying before you their balance sheet for the halt-year ending February 14, 1905.During the term under notice 698,290 lbs. of cream were received at the factory, from which 136 tons 4 cwt. 1 qr. 26 lbs. of butter were manufactured — an increase of 72,367 lbs. of butter on the corresponding half of last year. Allowing for £539/13/6 brought forward from last half year, the six months under notice show a profit of £220/5/10. Stables and feed rooms have been erected and further additions made to the carting plant during the term. — A.A. HARLEY. chairman of directors



Capital authorised,

£2500 in 2500 shares

of £1 each

Capital subscribed, 1965

shares called to              £     s    d

10, each                    282    10    0

Less calls unpaid          48    17    6

333    12 6

Calls paid in advance     5    15   6   £   s    d

339   7    6

Suudry creditors            …           …   28  7    0

Bank overdraft               24     6   0

Unpres’ed cheques    1427    16   9

1452   2    9

Balance                          … … …       759 19    6

£3179 16    9


Buildings and plant (less 5 per

cent, depreciation)                      …1357 15 10

Rolling stock (less 5 per cent

depreciation)              …      …       316 15  6

Shared in V. B. F. Co-op, C .     …     30  0  0

Butter on hand              …      …       619  1 10

Stores on hand, at cost …                  41 10  4

Sundry debtors             …       ,.       814 13  3

£3179 16  9



To Cream                     … … …      2855  6 11

Charges on butter —

Ocean freight          678  2  6

Freight and cart-

age …                 209  9  7

Commission         384  7  9

Insurance               28 19  0

Freezing                40   7  7

London charges  102 10  0

1443 16 5

Butter boxes           …    …   362    7 6

Stores  …                …    …    95  10  9

Firewood                …    …    42  17  6

Stationery, printing, etc….    20  10  7

Horsefecd               …    …     91   3  2

Wages …                …   …   435 15 10

Interest, exchange, etc. …     17 11  4

Allowance to chairman and

secretary …              …   15   0   0

Maintenance and repairs …  46   5   6

Depreciation, 5 per cent ….  88   1  0

Balance…              …      … 759  19  6

£13,286    6  2


By Balance brought forward

from-August 14. ’04           539 13  8

Butter sales …                    12530   9  3

Separator account                           1  6

Cream can account           …      2   6  5

Cream cartage         …     …  213  13 4

£13,269   6  2

Mr. Harley, in placing the report of the past half-year before the shareholders, pointed out that the season had not been as profitable as could be desired owing to the difficulty of obtaining sufficient water from the factory tanks. Cartage of water had been an expensive item, but the directors had taken steps towards preventing a recurrence of this difficulty. Negotiations were pending for the construction of a dam on an adjoining property, and Mr. Stewart, the owner, had offered the company half an acre of land for the purpose. Although much bad been said relative to the deterioration in quality of their butter during the late manager’s term, the speaker pointed out that according to advices received from London a good price had been always maintained.

Mr. Lloyd stated that the factory butter had lost its good name in Melbourne; being in the trade, he could speak with authority. He was of the opinion that the fault was in the grading.

Mr. H. Hollole maintained that the directors had failed in their duty in not having provided for a proper water supply early in the season. It was all nonsense to suppose that the creek would keep the refrigerator and boiler going. He had always been a great supporter of the construction of a dam while on the directorate, and the thing had been allowed to drop while he was away sick. He would like to know why something was not done towards carrying out his proposals.

The chairman replied that steps had been taken towards the construction of an extra tank. Mr. Fleming, the well-known divining rod expert, had reported that he found a good stream of water running from the hotel to the factory (laughter). They had also taken into consideration the matter of the construction of a dam for supplying the boiler and refrigerator, but could not come to come to terms with Mr. Kilduff. as he would not allow any surface drains.

Mr. Hadden pointed out that Mr. Stevenson had met the same difficulty last season by filling the tank while the creek was running. Why did the directors not see that this was done this season?

The chairman replied that they had now taken the consideration of the provision of water in hand, and with Mr. Stewart’s offer in hand they hoped to overcome the difficulty in time for next season.

Mr. Hackctt suggested that in future the directors should choose a manager by personal investigation, and if possible a total abstainer should have preference.

Au amount of discussion took place on the question of loss sustained by the present method of churning and the necessity of placing the depreciation of five per cent, into a reserve fund.

Mr. H. Hollole wanted to move a motion to call an extraordinary meeting to reduce the number of directors to five, but was ruled out of order.

The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the chairman.

There were more articles about Alexander, but I decided to only include the one article today.