Ru­ral Co-Op­er­a­tive clo­sure

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - On The Land -

The Yar­ra­wonga and District Ru­ral Co-op­er­a­tive has been run­ning for 54 years but will this year be clos­ing their doors.

The Co-op­er­a­tive held their fi­nal func­tion at the Yar­ra­wonga Golf Club on Fri­day, March 23 at­tended by ap­prox­i­mately 60 com­mit­tee and mem­bers.

The co-op was formed in 1964 un­der the lead­er­ship of Hor­rie Prescott and op­er­ated as a hard­ware and fuel busi­ness to as­sist its 200 odd share­hold­ers to be able to buy prod­ucts at a bet­ter price out of a premises in Bel­more Street known as Bowles Store un­til around 1975.

The premises then had a few moves be­fore buy­ing their own premises at 149 Bel­more Street, known as Tuttle’s build­ing and op­er­ated out of there un­til the 1980’s af­ter which the build­ing was leased out un­til even­tu­ally be­ing sold in 2015.

The fuel busi­ness orig­i­nally ran by Amoco and went through var­i­ous whole­salers how­ever the re­bates from the fuel com­pa­nies ceased in 2015 when vol­umes fell as many farm­ers ne­go­ti­ated their own deals with fuel com­pa­nies.

It be­came ap­par­ent to the direc­tors that the Co-op had ran its course and it was time to wind it up in the in­ter­est of its mem­bers.

Luck­ily for the mem­bers, wise in­vest­ment and pru­dent man­age­ment meant that the div­i­dend to be paid out when wound up will be ap­pre­ci­ated by the mem­bers.

Yar­ra­wonga & District Ru­ral Co-op­er­a­tive Chair­man John Law­less said it was both sad and heart­en­ing for the Co-Op­er­a­tive to be clos­ing but he would like to thank those who have been in­volved over the years.

“It is sad but in some way a sense of re­lief to write the fi­nal re­port for the Yar­ra­wonga & District Ru­ral Co-op,” said Mr Law­less.

“It was formed in 1964 by a large and en­thu­si­as­tic band of lo­cal district farm­ers from both sides of the bor­der and worked very well as a way to keep re­tail prices hon­est, but strug­gled to be a fi­nan­cial suc­cess.

“In the lat­ter years it be­came ob­vi­ous once the fuel re­bate ceased that its days were num­bered. Luck­ily for the mem­bers, the ear­lier Direc­tors had in­vested wisely and as we wind up the Co-op, they will all re­ceive a rea­son­able re­turn of cap­i­tal for their shares.

“In clos­ing, I would like to thank all those great lo­cal peo­ple that started the Co-op and kept it go­ing for 54 years.

“When you look back through the his­tory of Direc­tors and mem­bers who at­tended the meet­ings, they have all been won­der­ful con­trib­u­tors to our so­ci­ety and dis­tricts of Yar­ra­wonga and Mul­wala.”

Chair­men over the years

1964 – 1976 1977 – 1988 1989 – 1995 1996 – 2003 2004 – 2007 2008 – 2018

Direc­tors

1964 – 1990 1969 – 1993 1964 – 1992 1964 – 1968 1964 – 1973 1964 – 1967 1964 – 1967 1964 – 1970 1967 – 1969 1973 – 1975 1968 – 1978 1975 – 2018 1970 – 1978 1970 – 1992 1978 – 2005 1978 – 1010 1992 – 2018 1992 – 1994 1994 – 2018 1993 – 2018 1993 – 2018 1996 - 2018 2010 – 2018 12 Years 11 Years 6 Years 7 Years 3 Years 10 Years 27 Years HG Prescott 24 Years LG Bruce 28 Years PG O’Dwyer 4 Years AH White 9 Years FJ Keenan 3 Years LC Lewis 3 Years HA Cameron 6 Years L Har­g­reaves 2 Years R Buchanan 2 Years AR Mon­trose 10 Years JR Ham­mon 43 Years G Thomas 9 Years LM Quinn 22 Years Jo Woods 27 Years KJ Law­less 32 Years Max Har­g­reaves 26 Years Ian Woods 2 Years F O’Dwyer 24 Years James Cum­mins 25 Years Graham Reid 25 Years Graham McQual­ter 22 Years John Law­less 8 Years Ron Sand­ford

Direc­tors of the Yar­ra­wonga and District Ru­ral Co-Op cheque pre­sen­ta­tion to Friends in Com­mon. (L-R) Graeme McQual­ter, James Cum­mins, Graham Thomas, Leon Porter (FIC), John Law­less (Chair­man), Mar­i­lyn Al­bert (FIC) and Graham Reid.

Some of the sixty com­mit­tee and mem­bers at the fi­nal Ru­ral Co-Op func­tion.

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