Biography of Percy (Jerry) Bult who worked as a Foundry foreman at Sunshine Harvester Works.
One of 12 children, Percy Bult was born in Ballarat in 1883. As a child he was nicknamed Jerry – a name which remained throughout his life. Like his brothers Fred, George and John before him, Percy joined the Sunshine Harvester Works in 1897 when the firm was based in Ballarat. He was the foreman of the moulding shop. Percy's nephew Vernon recalled his uncle mentioning the strenuous nature of his job: 'He always said he had to work hard to learn the trade, he said it was all sweat and work'. Percy followed the company when it moved to Sunshine (then known as Braybrook Junction) in 1904-1906. He continued his role as a foundry foreman. Following World War I, Percy worked for the Repatriation Commission as an instructor in moulding at the Sunshine Technical School. He returned to the company in 1920 and remained there until his death in 1944.
Percy was one of many family members who worked for the Sunshine Harvester Works. Percy's father Walter William joined the Sunshine Harvester Works in 1897, while six of his brothers were also employed by the company. Percy's son Albert followed in his father's footsteps and began working for the company in 1930.
The Bults had the longest association with the company, beginning in the 1890s until the 1960s. Four generations of the family accumulated over 500 years of service to the firm. D.B Ferguson, an executive at Sunshine Harvester Works, jokingly likened the family to cockroaches, 'every time you turn something over you find one!' (Sunshine Review, September 1952, p.10).
- Sunshine Review 1944, 'Obituary', vol. 1, no. 1, p.8.
- Sunshine Review 1946, '447 Not Out!', vol. 3, no. 6, p.4.
- Transcript of interview with Vernon Bult. Held at Living History Museum of the West, registration no. VLMW 87.15.
- H.V McKay Employment Records held at the University of Melbourne Archives.