The Mercury, Hobart, 30th October, 1926, p. 9:
'Sudden Death of Sir Henry Jones
Fatal Heart Attack in Melbourne
A Remarkable Career Factory Hand to Millionaire
It is with deep regret that we announce the death, which occurred suddenly in Melbourne yesterday, of Sir Henry Jones, the leading business man of Tasmania, and one of the foremost in Australia.
Sir Henry had gone to Melbourne to meet a daughter who had just returned from abroad, and also in connection with business matters. He was to have left on return to Hobart yesterday, and his son-in-law, Mr. G. Peacock, who left him in Melbourne on Wednesday, said that he then seemed in the best of health and spirits. Always eager for Tasmania's welfare, he was keenly interested in the proposed Melbourne-Launceston aerial service, into which he was inquiring.
The story of Sir Henry Jones's life reads like a romance. From the smallest beginnings, the Hobart-born boy, who began life sticking labels on jam tins at the age of 12, rose, purely by his own efforts, to be a millionaire captain of industry, known and respected throughout the Empire. Through it all, from success to success, triumph to triumph, he remaines the big-hearted, unaffected "Harry" Jones of earlier days. And through it all, he was always a Tasmanian first, last, and all the time.
The body is being brought the Hobart for burial on Monday.
Fatal Heart Seizure.
Funeral on Monday.
MELBOURNE, October 29. The death occurred suddenly at the Oriental Hotel, Collins Street, this afternoon of Sir Henry Jones, K.B., who was on a business visit from Hobart. Sir Henry Jones had been under medical observation for blood pressure for some time, but apparently was as well as usual until about 2 o'clock this afternoon, when he suffered a slight heart seizure. Medical assistance was procured, and Sir Henry, who was thought to be making satisfactory progress, retired to his room to lie down, but a second attack about an hour later proved instantly fatal.
The body was removed to a mortuary chapel, and later in the afternoon was sent to Tasmania by the steamer Nairana, the sailing of which was delayed for the purpose.
The funeral will take place in Hobart on Monday.
A Worker to the Last.
Big Man in a Big Job.
Sir Henry Jones was unquestionably the outstanding figure in the Tasmanian commercial and industrial worlds and one of the foremost men in Australasia. He was a man not only of great and successful enterprises, but was gifted with exceptional powers of initiative, which made every undertaking of his succeed beyond all expectations in the face of many a strenuous battle. He was also possessed in a marked degree of many of those noble qualities of mind and character that have made great Britishers not bale throughout the world. It can truthfully be said of him that he has more largely contributed to the prosperity of Tasmania, particularly Hobart and the southern parts of the State, than any other man who ever lived here. His was one of that type of active mind in large businesses and enterprises that influences, powerfully, the minds of others, communication impulse and encouragement to all within his reach. His was 'a banner with the strange device Excelsior'. And he never failed to live up to his banner.
Benefactor to Industry.
Born in July 19, 1862, at Hobart, and educated at a State school, there was nothing in Sir Henry's early life except a marked tenacity of purpose and a determination, expressed before he reached his teens, to succeed to (prove/display) that after years he would become a power in the land. He will always be remembered for the great work he has done for Tasmania in connection not only with the fruit industry in all its thousand ramifications, but also in the hop industry, the timber export trade, and almost every other industry which his keen foresight told him was for the future benefit of the State. Shipping - a vital need in Tasmania - was a matter which always held his keenest interest, and to his efforts must be traced much of the prosperity which has come to the port of Hobart. He was a strong oppponent of the Navigation Act, a measure which he considered absolutely opposed to the best interests of Tasmania, and while he lived he allowed to stop him in his opposition to this Act, which he saw to be exercising a stranglehold on Tasmania's trade and commerce. In this alone - not to mention countless other activities - his loss will be a great one. Sir Henry Jones was the man behind the scenes in many things of which the public heard little, and always his energies were directed towrads what he believed to be the real benefit of the State. With everything he did all will not agree; but every person will agree that in Sir Henry Jones Tasmania had a staunch business," he said, "and I can do more for my State out of Parliament."
He was a prominent member of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce, a foundation _______ the Hobart Rotary Club, and an ardent supporter of the National Federation. He was also and enthusiastic member of the Tasmanian Shipping Committee, and was Consul for Denmark in Hobart.
Many men in his position would have deserted Tasmania years ago, and gone to live in London, Paris, or some such world resort on their own means. But Sir Henry Jones was a worker to the last. First and foremost, he was a big Tasmanian; secondly, he was a great Australian; and thirdly, he was a staunch member of the great Commonwealth of nations known as the British Empire.
From Small Beginnings.
Over 50 years ago a 12-year-old aboy got a job in the late Mr. George Peacock's jam factory sticking labels on tins. That boy was Henry Jones. Like evrything else he got his hands to, he did his first job well, and soon rose in his employer's estimation. From that small beginning, he rose until he dominated the jam and canning industry of not only Tasmania , but the whole of Australia and South Africa. he was recognised everywhere as one of the foremost jam manufacturers on the world. He was managing director of the firm of Henry Jones and Co. Ltd., with factories trading under that style in Hobart, Keswick, of South Australia, and Sydney, in addition to being director, chairman, or managing director of the two associated factories in Melbourne, one at Geelong and one at Bendigo, and until a year or two ago in California. The jam and canning factory business belonging to Henry Jones and Co. Ltd., situated near San Francisco, was sold in May 1925 to the Virden Packing Company. In addition, Sir Henry was the leading spirit of his firm in the very extensive business of securing steamers for the carriage of Tasmanian fruit to the London market, securing space for the growers in vessels for carrying their fruit, making advances on the fruit and otherwise helping those of them who needed financial assistance, a business which often resulted in sustaining pecuniary losses. That never daunted him; his enterprising spirit and his determination to help the fruitgrowing industry never flagged, but for him the export of fruit from Tasmania to the Old Country and elsewhere abroad would not now have attained to its present enormous proportions.
Jones and Co.
The firm of Henry Jones and Co. was established when the late Mr. George Peacock retired from his business of jam and preserves manufacturing at Hobart in 18__. The business commenced in a ___ way, but made rapid progress, and (became) the leading business of its kind in Australia.The works were almost entirely refitted in 1898, and the most modern and up-to-date machinery is now used in all departments. Sir Henry Jones, who was first a workman and then a foreman in the works, displayed a remarkable knowledge of the business in all its details, and it was mainly through his initiative and bold policy that the firm has attained its worl-wide fame. launching out into the timber trade, the fruit and jam export trade, and into the hop industry, the the firm had a huge turnover.As an employer of labour in Hobart, down the Channel, and in other parts of the State, as well as in several centres of Australia, South Africa, London, the Argentine, and New Zealand, the company, with his master mind directing, has always had a high reputation. As the head of this great concern, Sir Henry Jones always enjoyed the confidence of his employees, many of whom have been helped over bad times, and through illnesses without the slightest solicitation on their part. Such generous assistance has always been done unostentatiously, and none but the reciever has known of the gift. It will be remembered that when the demand for aeroplanes and still more aeroplanes came from the far-seeing friend. He never sought to enter public life. "I am too busy with my Western front, Sir Henry Jones wrote out a cheque to cover the cost of one, and also subscribed generously to the one which was donated by Tasmania.
Unspoilt by Success.
He built up a tremendously large and extensive concern, directly controlling thousands of employeed, indirectly swaying the fortunes of thousands of fruitgrowers, orchandists, and timber-getters, being the moving spirit and director governing companies with a combined capital running into millions; yet prosperity and success left him natural and unspoilt. He was always as friendly to his chauffeur or the makers of tins in his factory as to a capitalist, and taked to a mechanic with the same casual cheerfulness that he displayed toward Cabinet Ministers, Federal or State. He always was very outspoken against government interference with private enterprises, holding that harassing Government regulations strangle business without benefiting anybody. He was also an uncompromising opponent of the Arbitration Court, holding that by fixing a standard wage it has destoryed the workers' ambition and initiative, and in this way clogged the wheels of progress.
The Arbitration Court.
On one occasion he put it in this way:- "The fast man, seeing that his slower comrade recievs the same wqage for less work, naturally slackens off until he is down to the same standard. In other words, it is the slowest man and not the fastest who sets the pace. Until this evil is removed by the abolition of the Arbitration Court, Australia can never hope to take a place among the great manufacturing nations". Asked on that occasion whether he thought that wages would have to come down in Australia, Sir Henry said that it all depended upon whether the worker realised how grave was the problem the country was up against. If the employee resolved to give good, value for the higher wage he had been recieving in recent years, there was no need to contemplate any reduction. If, on the other hand, he declined to speed up, some industries would undoubtedly have to reduce wages or go under. The number of mines that had recently been closed showed that the pessimism of employers was not merely part of a campaign to bluff the worker into accepting lower wages. In February, 1911, on the eve of his departure on a trip to England with his family, Sir Henry Jones was entertained to a dinner in Hobart by the Chamber of Commerce to bid him bon voyage. Perhaps some of the points made by the speakers on that occasion are worthy of being now repeated.
State's Greatest Benefactors.
The then president of the Chamber (the late Mr. W.M. Williams, O.B.E.) said no one had done more to advertise Tasmania than Sir Henry Jones. The then Premier (Sir Elliott Lewis) referred in mos[t?] eulogistic terms to the exceptional business capacity, acumen, pluck, foresight, and uprightness of their guest, who had done so much to build up the welfare of Tasmania. The late Hon. Henry Dobson, on the same occasion, said he regarded Sir Hnery Jones and the late Mr. W.D. Peacock as the two greatest benefactors this State had ever seen. the late Mr. W.D. Peacock said: "As to the distinguished guest whom we have assembled to honour, I remember when a certain lad worked in our Peacock factory, when I was then foreman and his name was Henry Jones. Soon he became quite capable of occupying a position of trust and responsiblity. In the course of time, circumstances obliged me suddenly to sever my connection with the Old Wharf, and start anew. I was asked to take up the organisation and control of a large business in Melbourne (the central office) to which a distillery was attached. This I refused to do and as an alternative was dismissed. out I went, and Henry Jones took my place, and eventually acquired a controlling interest in the Old Wharf business." On the same occasion, the late Honorable Jame Murdoch, M.L.C., said:- Some people thought Sir Henry's interests wasa only in apples and jam; but, as a matter of fact, they could hardly say what he was not commercially interested in. His interests included timber, mining, orcharding, and many other things, and he recently offered even to float a million of money for the Government, who did not choose to take it on. The speaker referred to the great growth of the fruit industry through the enterprise of Sir Henry Jones, and also Mr. Peacock, and the enormous amount of work which resulted on the wharf to carters, lumpers, and many others, as well as to river boats.
An Indefatigable Worker.
In his reply to the speeches Sir Henry said that he started as a boy, 33 years ago (speaking in February, 1911), on the Old Wharf, and 20 years ago started for himself with the little capital he had saved out of his earnings since a boy and with what he could borrow. When a young man he worked on the top floor till 6 o'clock at night, and after that hour got the foreman to give him overtime at night, and so worked 16 hours a day, and he worked as many hours then. When perishable fruit had to be treated on a Saturday afternoon he was always one of the volunteers to put it through while others refused. He believed in individual enterprise in building up an industry, not Government enterprise. In January, 1919, at a public gathering in the city to congratulate Sir Hnery on the honour of knighthood having been conferred upon him. several highly complimentaryspeeches were made.It was said that the honour was thoroughly deserved, Sir Hnery having worked his way up from small beginnings by energy, ability, and honesty. Hobart had been fortunate in having a citizen like Sir Hnery Jones, who had devoted himself whole heartedly to the welfare of his native city. Many could speak of his kind actions; he had helped many a lame dog over a stile. Reference was also made to Sir Henry Jones despatching 1,000,000 lb of jam on his own account to the soldiers engaged in the Boer war, and Mr. C. [J?] Maxwell said it was their esteemed friend and valuable citizen's honesty and integrity that made the entire community so heartily endorse the honour conferred upon him (Loud applause.)
Title Made No Difference.
In the course of his reply on that occasion, Sir Henry said he did not think the title would cause him to be any different from what he had been all his life. The people of Hobart knew him sufficiently well to know that, whatever came, wealth, titles, or anything else, he was "still the jam boy of the Old Wharf." (Laughter and applause.) There were men at the factory who had worked side by side with him in the old days, and they were the same to him now as when he was in the store working side by side with them. His position had made no difference. But, as he told these men, they could not all be bosses and keep their coats on. He thought the men realised this, and they got on well. Ever since he had been in business, they had never had a dispute. Every year they gave the employees some of the earnings of the business. They tried to give the shareholders something in the form of interest, and after that he thought the workers were entitles to their share.
Family of Twelve.
Sir Henry Jones married Alice Glover(?) of Hobart, and had a family of 12-nine daughters and three sons. His children are: - Albert Jones, married Miss N. Salmon (?), and now owns the well-known Lisdillon station on the East Coast; Basil, studying law at the University; Douglas, a pupil at the Freinds' High School; Alys (at home): Mrs. Greig, of Melbourne (Millie): Mrs. T FitzGerald (Mabel); Mrs. D.C. McLaren (Ruby); Mrs. uckett, of Melbourne (Edith); Mrs. T. Sampson (Doris); Mrs. George Peacock (Amy); and Marjorie and Mona Jones.
TRIBUTES BY PUBLIC MEN THE PREMIER'S SYMPATHY "A GREAT TASMANIAN."
"I am very sorry to hear that we have lost a great Tasmanian," said the Premier (Hon J. A. Lyons) when acquainted with the death of Sir Henry Jones last evening. "He was a man who did a great deal for the state, and his loss at the present juncture is particularly to be regretted. Now that industrial matters are moving his keen foresight and remarkable business ability can ill be spared. He interested himself in a great number of propositions, but none more than what he descried to be the welfare of the State. I have only known him personally since I have been a member of the Government. There I have come in contact with him a great deal in connection with the State Development Board, on which he did splendid work. The carbide industry of Electorna was one of the multitude of things in which he interested himself. I can only say that he was a man of absolute integrity. His word was always to be depended upon, and his remarkable ability was equalled only by his boundless energy. I sympathise with the State in the heavy loss it has sustained, and I tender my sympathy to the widow and children he has left behind."
LEADER OF OPPOSITION PUSHING TASMANIA'S INTERESTS
"The whole community will learn with very deep regret of Sir Henry Jones's sudden death", said the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. J. C. McPhee). "Tasmania owes a great deal to him and his loss will be a severe one. He will be missed especially by the primary producers." Mr. McPhee added that Sir Hnery had gone to Melbourne especially to push the interests of Tasmania regarding a new industry which it was proposed to establish here.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. PRESIDENT'S TRIBUTE.
"The vigorous personality of Sir Henry Jones will be greatly missed by the Hobart Chamber of Commerce, for he had an extraordinary perception and acumen in business matters, " stated Mr. W.H. Cummins [?], president of the Hobart Chamber of Commerce. "These great qualities were used in the first place, of course, in the building up of that vast business which bears his name, and over which he presided right up to the moment of his death. His outstanding success in the realms of commerce and industry was greatly to the benefit of this State, and particularly to Hobart, the city of his birth. We need men of his courage, imagination, and means to develop our resources. I regard his untimely death as an almost irreparable loss, especially at this time, when enterprise and wise, vigorous effort are urgently called for."
ROTARY CLUB. THE FIRST PRESIDENT.
"Sir Henry Jones was one of the really bug men of Tasmania and of the Commonwealth, and his death will be a severe blow to the community," said Mr. A. W. Courtney-Pratt, vice president of the Hobart Rotary Club. "There is no man in Tasmania who will be able just to fill the unique position he held in the State, and scores of citizens have lost their best friend. "He did much generous good by stealth, and his many liberal benefactions will never be adequately by known. He was one of the foundation members of the Hobart Rotary Club, of which he was the first president. He was ever ready to further the aims and objects of the club. Club members felt it a privilege to know and to be associated with him, and to them all his death will be a distinct personal loss."
SIR ALFRED ASHBOLT. A GLOWING TRIBUTE. KEEN BUSINESS MAN.
Melbourne, October 29. Sir Alfred Ashbolt, at present visiting Melbourne, paid the following tribute to Sir Henry Jones tonight:- "After my close personal association with Sir Hnery Jones for over 20 years during which the business in which we were engaged emerged from a comparatively small undertaking to a one of the largest business organisations in Australia, the death of the main creator and builder of that business has come as a very great personal shock, particularly as I called upon him at his hotel this afternoon a few seconds before the discovery of his death. "After 20 years of the closest association possible between two individuals, I left the firm of Henry Jones and Co. with great regret when I went to England to became agent-general for Tasmania. I was then a greater admirer of Sir Henry Jones than when I first met him. I always looked upon him as one of the two individuals who gave me my opportunity in life, and his sudden death has, I feel, removed one of my best friends. I should like to express my heartfelt sympathy to Lady Jones, who was always his closest associate and keen adviser on many matters of business, as well as with members of his family, all of whom have been among his greatest joys and whose advancement in life was one of his main endeavours. "Before I left for England" proceeded Sir Alfred Ashbolt, I always considered Sir Henry one of the biggest men in Australia, and after associating with some of the keenest business men in the Old Country I regarded Sir Henry as a man capable of holding his own in the keenest business circles in any part of the world. He had a creative mind and a quick brain, with an ability to get down to basic truths and not to be confussed by the side issues. His loss as far as Tasmania is concerned, is almost irreperable.'