Pigdons turns 100 years
Motor vehicle and farm machinery customers of Pigdons Holden Yarrawonga and family friends joined in an official ceremony on Saturday, April 14 to mark the family’s outstanding achievement of 100 years in business.
“Congratulations on 100 years and being part of this community,” another well-known local identity from a well-known long-time local family, Brian Keenan, told the Pigdon family in front of an estimated 130 people witnessing the massive, milestone achievement at 11am on Saturday.
“I hope you go on serving the community well into the future. It’s a great anniversary. The Pigdons have been great innovators, initially in Wilby then Yarrawonga.”
The former mayor of Moira Shire and fourdecade long fire brigade captain recalled considerable history of the Keenan and Pigdon families, and commented about the pioneer spirit of men and women, in what they had to endure.
“I remember Jack Pigdon ran the business. Bruce’s father was at war. Dad (Frank Keenan) got involved with Pigdons,” Mr Keenan said.
“What was always very noticeable to this day was their staff who would go the extra yard whatever it was you wanted - whether a motor bike, Dodge, Studebaker, Morris, Plymouth or Holden, or Headers, Ploughs, McKay, Massey - you name it. During the war years I don’t know how they kept going.”
In referring to the much earlier times, Mr Keenan talked about local families 100 years and beyond, and soldiers involved in war conflict and what they had to endure. “We owe a lot to our forebears for their guts and determination,” he said. And that praise was indeed appropriate to the Pigdon family whose business “became an important stop-over for farmers of the district” Mr Keenan said.
That toughness mentioned by Mr Keenan was emphasised by the current owner’s (Andrew Pigdon) father, Bruce Pigdon OAM.
“My Grandfather (John Pigdon) was a teenager when his father died in a farm accident in 1889. He then found himself caring for his mother, learning the blacksmith trade, then working at the Wilby Butter Factory, purchasing and operating a Traction Engine, then finally opening the business in 1918, the business that we are commemorating today in its Centenary Year,” he said.
Mr Pigdon described his grandfather “a man of vision” and “a good friend to farmers especially during the Depression Years when banks restricted credit”.
“The purpose of this commemoration ceremony is not to pat ourselves on the back but to remember the incredible efforts our ancestors made to overcome and to help make not just this business, but Yarrawonga/Mulwala a better place to work and live - to honour those who have gone before us,” he said.
The original philosophy and purpose of Pigdons still stands according to Bruce: to be ethical in trading, generous when required to be, to provide a first class service to customers, to be a good employer putting employees’ interest above self-interest and to be a good corporate citizen by getting involved in the community.
“Our greatest asset is our customers who think we are worthy of their continued custom and we are forever grateful for their loyalty,” he said.
Speakers at the centenary celebration for Pigdons Holden, from left, Brian Keenan, Bruce Pigdon OAM, Andrew Pigdon, Cr Ed Cox and Richie Mallows.
Pigdon family members in the showroom at Pigdons Holden Yarrawonga at the official ceremony, beside a magnificent shiny red Commodore.