Cyril Callister (1893-1949)

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Advertisement for Kraft Processed Cheese,1934, Courtesy Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection



The son of a school teacher and postmaster, Cryil Callister was born at Chute on 16 February 1893. He died on 5 October 1949.

Cyril Callister was the grandson of William Callister, and the brother of Reginald Callister. He was a chemist by training, and became a food technologist with the Fred Walker Company (a Melbourne based manufacturer later known as Kraft). Callister studied at the Ballarat School of Mines before enrolling in the University of Melbourne graduating with a bachelor of Science in 1914, a Master of Science in 1917 and a Doctor of Science in 1931.

On 10 June 1915 Cyril Callister enlisted for service during World War One, but by October he had been discharged by the Minister of Defence being required for duty at the Cordite Factory. He was sent overseas to work on munitions projects in Wales and Scotland.[1]

Callister married in Scotland after the war, and returned to Australia. [2]


Cyril Callister invented Vegemite, packed cheese into a can to preserve it, and developed Kraft processed cheese.

In 1931, with Sir David Rivett, he secured the royal charter for the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, becoming president of the Society of Chemical Industry of Victoria in 1935-6.


OBITUARY Dr. C. Callister
Dr. Cyril P. Callister died suddenly yesterday at his home in Wellington-street, Kew. The second son of the late Mr. W. H. Callister, he was born near Ballarat, and re ceived his early education at Grenville College. Winning an exhibition to Queen's College, he had a brilliant university career, taking honors in physics and chemistry. He enlisted in the A.I.F. in 1915, but shortly before leaving for overseas service he was seconded to the Munitions department, and worked on munitions in England for the duration of the war. He joined the staff of Fred. Walker and Co. Pty. Ltd. In 1923, and in October, 1946, on the formation of the Kraft Walker Cheese Co: Pty. Ltd; he became head chemist, and subsequently a director, of the present company. He leaves a widow, one son and a daughter.[3]

See also

Buninyong Roll of Honour

Reginald Callister

Yendon Avenue of Honour


Mr C. Callister, who passed a brilliant course at the Ballarat School of Mines, and afterwards secured an appointment in British West africa, enlisted for the war, andis at present employed by the British Government in superintending the manufacture of munitions. [4]


  1. Paton, Kay, Yendon's World War 1 Memorial Book, Yendon History Group, 2014.
  2. Paton, Kay, Yendon's World War 1 Memorial Book, Yendon History Group, 2014.
  3. The Age, 06 October 1949.
  4. Ballarat Courier, 03/08/2015.

Further Reading

Callister,Jamie, The Man Who Invented Vegemite, Pier9, NSW, 2012.

Paton, Kay, Yendon's World War 1 Memorial Book, Yendon History Group, 2014

External links

--C.K.Gervasoni 23:11, 5 March 2013 (EST)

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