Category Archives: Otto Goetz

Goetz at Harvester House Openeing 1939

On 22 May 1939, the new headquarters of the International Harvester Company of Australia P/L,  was officially opened by the then Victorian Premier Mr. Dunstan.

On the corner of City Road and Balston Street, South Melbourne, it was a good thing that the site covered four and a half acres (1.8 ha), as there were 2,000 guests present! 

‘Representatives of Federal and State Governments, municipalities, and agricultural and business interests were present’. (The Argus, 23 may 1939, p. 10)

As part of the ‘business interests’, there was a presence from W. G. Goetz & Sons. In this photo taken at the official opening celebrations is L-R: Capt. J. H. Moss (age 56), E. M. McLean (not known if he was from Goetz or another business), Otto Goetz (age 42) and Albert Goetz. (age 54).

The Australasian, 27 May 1939, p. 32. According to the accompanying article, around 2,000 guests attended the opening!

Around the same time, International Harvester opened its assembly factory at Geelong. On 4 August 1950, the first sod was turned at its 23 hectare site in Dandenong, officially opening in August 1952.

Otto Goetz and Capt. James Moss on the RVB Board

W. G. Goetz & Sons bought their Hall Street site from Roy Butler of RVB Engineering.

The land was previously owned from 1911 by Bickford, Smith and Co. Explosives, who had become associated with the chemical firm, Nobel (Australasia).

In 1939 Nobel moved and RVB purchased “about 520,000 square feet: Mr. Butler retained 240,000 square feet and sold the remainder to Messers. Goetz”. The Argus, 22 May 1956 p.15

See 1930 aerial photo of the site about half way down on this page.

Along with Roy Butler, Albert and Otto Goetz and Capt. James Moss were founding members of the RVB Engineering company. At times, both Otto Goetz and Capt. James Moss served on the RVB Board of Directors.

The Argus, 2 October 1953, p. 13

During May 1956, RVB celebrated its 21st year of operation. Below is an exerpt from and article in The Argus, 22 May 1956, p. 10 “A Great Firm Comes Of Age”, in which Roy Butler pays tribute to the management of W. G. Goetz & Sons for their support in the early days of RVB.

Otto Goetz

Youngest son of Gottlob and Sarah Goetz, Otto Theodore ‘Jack’ Goetz served as Chairman from July 1953 to 196? following the death of brother Albert.
Above: From The Herald (Melbourne), 7 July 1953 p.6. Otto was elected Chairman of Directors. Peter Moss appointed as director to replace Albert Goetz, who had died  27 December 1952.
Below: The Age, 8 July 1953 p.6 reports that Otto’s appointment was to replace James Moss.

Otto, Albert and James Moss had also served as directors with RVB Engineering, next door to the W. G. Goetz factory in Hall Street, Spotswood.

Otto, pictured at the opening of Harvester House on 22 May 1939, when he was aged 42.

Otto ‘Jack’ Goetz (middle row, left) pictured at the 1951 Australian Canners Conference in Melbourne. Weekly-Times, September 12th, 1951 p.54

Below: Otto Theodore Goetz business card. Chairman & Managing Director. Date unknown, but as it has a postcode, it would have been used after 1st July 1967 (the date 4-digit postcodes were introduced), up to the time of his retirement. Otto died in Decemer 1971, aged 75.

Otto Theodore Goetz became a great fan of horse racing, and a member of the Victorian Club, 141 Queen Street. Built in 1880, the club became the scene of the Great Bookie Robbery on 21st April 1976, where robbers stole between $1.5m and $15m in untraceable notes; the takings from 116 bookmakers after the Easter weekend races at Caulfield and Moonee Valley.

Below: Otto’s membership card for 1965-66



Below: Otto ‘Jack’ Goetz, 29 September, 1955 on the day of his daughter Shirley’s wedding to Howard Glover.

Otto died on 23rd December 1971, aged 75, remembered in this obituary in the Australian Food Manufacture magazine, 19 January 1972, p.8.