Essington Lewis (circa 1900)
(State Library of South Australia collection)
|Born||13 January 1881|
|Died||2 October 1961 (aged 80)|
Tallarook, Victoria, Australia
|Alma mater||South Australian School of Mines|
|Years active||Employee 1904 – 26|
managing director 1926–50
|Employer||Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd (BHP)|
Gladys Rosalind Cowan(m. 1910)
|Parent(s)|| John Lewis |
|Relatives|| Tom Lewis (nephew)|
Sandy Lewis (nephew)
James Cowan (father-in-law)
Darcy Rivers Warren Cowan (brother-in-law)
Essington Lewis, CH (13 January 1881 –2 October 1961) was a prominent Australian industrialist. He was the Director-General of the Department of Munitions during World War II.
The Department of Munitions was an Australian government department that existed between June 1940 and April 1948.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Essington Lewis was born in Burra, South Australia on 13 January 1881. His father was the pastoralist and politician John Lewis (1844–1923), founder of Bagot, Shakes & Lewis. He was named after Port Essington, where his father owned a cattle property.He was educated at St. Peter's College, Adelaide and the South Australian School of Mines.
Burra is a pastoral centre and historic tourist town in the mid-north of South Australia. It lies east of the Clare Valley in the Bald Hills range, part of the northern Mount Lofty Ranges, and on Burra Creek. The town began as a single company mining township that, by 1851, was a set of townships collectively known as "The Burra". The Burra mines supplied 89% of South Australia's and 5% of the world's copper for 15 years, and the settlement has been credited with saving the economy of the struggling new colony of South Australia. The Burra Burra Copper Mine was established in 1848 mining the copper deposit discovered in 1845. Miners and townspeople migrated to Burra primarily from Cornwall, Wales, Scotland and Germany. The mine first closed in 1877, briefly opened again early in the 20th century and for a last time from 1970 to 1981.
John Lewis was an Australian pastoralist and politician. He was a member of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1898 to 1923, representing the Northern District (1898-1902) and North-Eastern District (1902-1923). He was the father of Essington Lewis.
Port Essington is an inlet and historic site located on the Cobourg Peninsula in the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park in Australia's Northern Territory. It was the site of an early attempt at British settlement, but now exists only as a remote series of ruins.
After joining Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd (BHP) (now BHP Billiton) in 1904, he rose through the company ranks to become managing director in 1926 and chairman in 1950, a position he held until his death in 1961. For the whole of his period as M.D., he had a close working relationship and personal friendship with Chairman of Directors Harold Gordon Darling (1885–1950).
During his travels to Germany and Japan in the 1930s, he realised the threat of these countries to Australia. Accordingly, he helped establish the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation and many munitions facilities meaning Australia was better prepared for industrialisation when the war started in 1939. During World War II, he also served as Director-General of the Department of Munitions. He supported the establishment of the motor industry in Australia in 1948, being rewarded by being able to purchase the first commercially produced Holden 48/215.
The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) was an Australian aircraft manufacturer. The CAC was established in 1936, to provide Australia with the capability to produce military aircraft and engines.
Holden, formerly known as General Motors-Holden, is an Australian carmaker and former automobile manufacturer, which imports manufactured cars under the Holden brand. It is headquartered in Port Melbourne, Victoria.
He was appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour on 24 September 1943 for his work as Director - Munitions & Aircraft Production in WW2.
The Order of the Companions of Honour is an order of the Commonwealth realms. It was founded on 4 June 1917 by King George V as a reward for outstanding achievements and is "conferred upon a limited number of persons for whom this special distinction seems to be the most appropriate form of recognition, constituting an honour disassociated either from the acceptance of title or the classification of merit."
In 1910, he married Gladys Rosalind Cowan, OBE, the only daughter of James Cowan. Their family consisted of five children – sons James Essington and Robert Brook, and daughters Helen, Mary and Jane. His sons were educated at Geelong Grammar School and the daughters at the Clyde School. The family lived in Malvern, Victoria and owned a country property named "Landscape" near Tallarook in central Victoria. Robert Brook (1918–2009) is notable as being the Master of St Mark's College, University of Adelaide from 1957 to 1968 and the Master of Menzies College, La Trobe University from 1968 to 1970.
James Cowan, flour miller and investor, had been a member of the South Australian House of Assembly for the Yatala for only 2 months when he was killed in an accident at a railway crossing. Cowan was an early investor in Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd. The property associated with Erindale, Cowan's residence at Burnside, was sub-divided after his death into a new suburb which was also named Erindale.
Geelong Grammar School is an independent Anglican co-educational boarding and day school. The school's main campus is located in Corio on the northern outskirts of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, overlooking Corio Bay and Limeburners Bay.
Clyde School was founded as a private girls' school in 1910 in Alma Road, St Kilda, Victoria, Australia by Isabel Henderson, a leading educationist of her day. It quickly gained a reputation for excellent academic results. The school was relocated to Macedon, near Hanging Rock in 1919.
He died while riding his horse on his property "Landscape" near Tallarook on 2 October 1961, aged 80. Newspapers of the day claimed he suffered a heart attack.St John's Anglican Church, Toorak, was overflowing for his funeral; he was cremated.
His life is the subject of several books, including The Steel-Master: a life of Essington Lewis by historian Geoffrey Blainey, another by Clive Turnbulland the musical play I am Work by John O'Donoghue. The Essington Lewis Memorial Lecture has been presented annually in South Australia since its establishment in 1975. It is funded by BHP and was instituted by the Adelaide Branch of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. One of Whyalla's main streets, Essington-Lewis Avenue, was named in his honour.
Geoffrey Norman Blainey is an Australian historian, academic, philanthropist and commentator with a wide international audience. He is noted for having written authoritative texts on the economic and social history of Australia, including The Tyranny of Distance. He has published over 35 books, including wide-ranging histories of the world and of Christianity. He has often appeared in newspapers and on television. He held chairs in economic history and history at the University of Melbourne for over 20 years. In the 1980s, he was visiting professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. He received the 1988 Britannica Award for dissemination of knowledge and was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2000.
Thomas Lancelot Lewis was a New South Wales politician, Premier of New South Wales and minister in the cabinets of Sir Robert Askin and Sir Eric Willis. He became Premier following Askin's retirement from politics and held the position until he was replaced by Willis in a party vote. Lewis was first elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for the Electoral district of Wollondilly for the Liberal Party in 1957, and served until his resignation in 1978.
Reginald Claude Sprigg, AO, HonDSc ANU, HonDSc Flinders, MSc Adelaide, FTSE was an Australian geologist and conservationist. At 17 he became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of South Australia. During 1946, in the Ediacara Hills, South Australia he discovered the Ediacara biota, an assemblage of some of the most ancient animal fossils known. He was involved with oceanographic research and petroleum exploration by various companies that he initiated. In 1968, he acquired a derelict pastoral lease, Arkaroola, and transformed it into a wildlife sanctuary and wilderness reserve.
The Adelaide Convention Centre is a large convention centre on North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia. It was the first purpose-built convention centre to be built in Australia.
Tallarook is a town in central Victoria, Australia. The town is in the Shire of Mitchell local government area and on the Hume Highway, 88 kilometres (55 mi) north of the state capital, Melbourne. At the 2011 census, Tallarook had a population of 789.
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Alexander Ashley Lewis, known as Sandy Lewis, was an Australian politician who represented the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of Blackwood from 1972 until 1974, and one of the two Legislative Council seats for Lower Central Province from 1974 until 1989. He was a member of the Liberal Party.
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Sir John Cowan was a South Australian politician who served as a member of the South Australian Legislative Council from 1910 to 1944.
Edward Meade "Ned" Bagot, was a pastoralist and developer who held large properties in Central Australia.
The Chronicle was a South Australian weekly newspaper, printed from 1858 to 1975, which evolved through a series of titles. It was printed by the publishers of The Advertiser, its content consisting largely of reprints of articles and Births, Marriages and Deaths columns from the parent newspaper. Its target demographic was country areas where mail delivery was infrequent, and businesses which serviced those areas.
A Short History of Christianity is a non-fiction book on the history of the Christian religion written by the Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey. First published in 2012 by Penguin Books, it describes the history of Christianity, from its foundations to the present day. The book was shortlisted for the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Awards in 2012.
Sir Darcy Rivers Warren Cowan was an Australian medical practitioner and advocate of effective treatment of tuberculosis.
Knightsbridge School was a school for girls in Knightsbridge, South Australia, which ran from 1886 to 1921.
Jerome Joseph Murif (1863–1926) was an Irish-Australian engineer and bushman who was also the first man to cycle across the Australian continent, from South to North, Glenelg, a suburb of Adelaide to Darwin, in 1897. Murif's surname at birth is unknown. In Australia, he used the spelling "Murif", but after emigrating to the USA in 1903, he adopted the spelling "Muriff". No contemporary records of the surname Murif or Muriff in Ireland exist at the period of his birth.
Mildirn, sometimes spelt Medlone, also known as Jack Davis, Old Jack Davis or Port Essington Jack was a well-known Aboriginal leader, translator and advisor for Port Essington, a site of early British settlement in the Northern Territory of Australia.
|Preceded by|| Director-general of the Department of Munitions |
as Secretary of the Department of Supply and Development