Forward Ballarat Movement

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Factory Day, 1916

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To the Editor of “The Courier.”
Sir,-My enlarged engineering factory on the site of the old Phoenix Foundry is almost completed. It was my intention to invite the two councils and leading business and manufacturing men to inspect the whole plant. The happy idea of the “Forward Ballarat” Committee to have a Factory Day, and also a working display right up the Sturt street gardens from Bridge street, gives me the very opportunity I require, and I will be delighted, not only to show my own factory, but have a working exhibit in Sturt street on Friday, [illegible]th October, and I sincerely hope the whole of our manufacturers will seize the opportunity to show what we are doing in this centre, and that the public and outside residents will support it by their presence and interest.-Yours, etc., J. F. WILES.[1]

Factory Day 1917

See main page: Factory Day, 1917

Home Coming Week, 1917


Mr Maxwell, of the Electric Light Supply Company, is preparing a scheme for the illumination of the Sturt street gardens. The Decoration Committee, both City and Town, are determined to surpass all previous efforts.[2]

“The Mayor of the City (Cr Hill), the Mayor of Ballarat East (Cr A. Levy), and the Mayor of Sebastopol (Cr J Jones) join our Committee in wishing Bendigo and its district every possible success in the back to Bendigo campaign, and that Easter Week may prove one of the most successful event in its history. You will be delighted to know that our ‘Home-coming Week’ in connection with the Forward Ballarat movement is meeting with unanimous approval and support, and we will have Ballaratians and their wives from every State in the Commonwealth. We shall be pleased to receive your programme, and enclose our own, feeling sure that mutual good wishes and help will greatly strengthen the success of both cities.”[3]

The Ballarat North Progress Association at its meeting held on Saturday evening enthusiastically decided to assist in the aquatic carnival to be held on Easter Saturday.[4]



Community Involvement

Works Produced

Workplace Relations

The People

W. F. Coltman, President in 1917

Fred J. Williams


See also

Factory Day, 1916

Factory Day, 1917

Forward Maryborough Movement

Wiles Mobile and Stationary Steam Cooker


WILES COOKER THE INVENTOR HONORED. In the immediate future Mr J. F. Wiles, inventor of the cooker that bears his name, will proceed to England for the purpose of extending his sphere of business activity. Mayor Hill yesterday entertained Mr Wiles at the City Hall, and in the presence of a large and representative gathering of citizens wished him bon voyage and a full measure of success. The Mayor, after submitting the loyal toast, proposed "Success to Mr Wiles." In so doing he referred to the diversity of interests represented in that gathering, which he regarded as a tribute to the grit and determination of Mr Wiles in securing recognition for his meritorious invention. Prior to perfecting the "cooker" Mr Wiles had worked long and arduously, now its success has been demonstrated beyond question. While on a visit to the city recently the Russian Consul had predicted a great future for the cooker, and is was difficult to foresee at present in what way the distinguished visitor's re marks would apply. He wished Mr Wiles all the success his industry inventive genius, and mechanical skill entitled him to. Lt-Col Bolton referred to Mr Wiles' association with the 7th Regiment, as a member of which his interest in the cooking had induced the speaker (Lt-Col Bolton) to appoint him to supervise the cooking for the 3rd Battalion. That position awakened Mr Wiles to an appreciation of what was required for the proper feeding of soldiers in the field, and the splendid cooker which now bore his name stood as a monument to his seal and ability to combine the theoretical with the practical. Mr W. H. Chandler referred to the gratifying accounts received from the men at the Front regarding the Wiles cooker, and to the fact that it had fulfilled all its inventor had put forward in support of its adoption. Mr W. H. Middleton. president of the School of Mines Council, after joining in the general theme of congratulation, remarked on Mr Wiles "stickabilty" in his efforts to secure proper recognition for his cooker. Mr C. H. Burrow regretted that the a magnificent cooker did not exist in his soldiering days, because be realised its value in active military operations. For four months, while the kitchen at the Benevolent Asylum was under construction, a Wiles cooker had done service, and during that period it daily cooked for 230 inmates, together with sick patients and the staff, without a single hitch. Mr W. F. Coltman, president of the Forward Ballarat Movement, testified to the efficiency of the cooker. which had stood the severest tests to which it had been submitted. Mjr M. Baird. M.L.A.. who had had practical inexperience of the cooker in actual warfare, stated the feeding difficult ties of his battalion had been greatly lessened by the Wiles cooker. Cr A. Bell, Messrs J. T. M'Gregor, W. H. Gent.and M. M'Callum supported tho toast. Mr Wiles, in reply, said ambition had always played an important part in his life: his desire from boyhood being to get to the top. He was soldiering in the South African war at the age of 17 years, and it was there he realised the inadequacy of the arrangement for feeding the soldiers. He had been asked why he did not go to Melbourne and there establish his industry". His answer was he had faith in Ballarat. He had enjoyed his life here, all his interests had always been centred here. Although only 39 years of ago he had a wife, and the nucleus of a family in five sons and one daughter. (Laughter and applause.) He owed much to Ballarat: he had learned much by being associated with different local institutions, and he would always be delighted to return to it. By the aid of the "Forward Ballarat" movement he hoped before the lapse of many years to see the present policy of centralisation substituted by a system of fares and freights that would place country manufacturers on the same basis as the Melbourne competitor. He was deeply indebted to the press of Ballarat for the assistance it had rendered in bringing the merits of the cooker before the public. Local politicians of all creeds had assisted him by their influence. He was confident of success on the "other side," because his cooker had proved superior, on the admission of indisputable authorities, to all others yet placed at the disposal of the military. The use of steam for cookers had been disapproved of by many experts, but he had proved that high pressure steam was the most efficient method of feeding the fighting men. In his manufacture he had been greatly encouraged by Col (Dr) Hardy, who was really the father of the cooker. If the conscription referendum had been carried he would have been in a position to em- cloy 200 more men at his works, but he hoped to overcome that disappointment by the success he would achieve in the Old Country.[5]

Recommended Reading


  1. The Ballarat Courier (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Saturday 16 September 1916, page 3. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  2. The Ballarat Courier (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Monday 19 February 1917, page 5. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  3. The Ballarat Courier (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Monday 19 February 1917, page 5. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  4. The Ballarat Courier (Ballarat, Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Monday 12 March 1917, page 5. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  5. Ballarat Courier, 17 February 1917.

Further Reading

External Links

--Beth Kicinski 07:30, 25 May 2012 (EST)

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