The Need for a Foundry
Registered on 27th April 1938, Eastern Metallurgical Founders Pty Ltd was a fully owned subsidiary of W. G. Goetz & Sons, deregistered by ASIC on 3rd July 1998.
In 1948, owing to the increasing difficulty of obtaining castings for the machinery being manufactured and for the new types contemplated, W. G. Goetz acquired an interest in a small foundry at 7 Pickett Street, Dandenong (see advert below). Between registering the name in 1938 and becoming involved in the Pickett Street foundry, founding work may have been undertaken at Goetz’s Hall Street, Spotswood site, although no evidence of this has come to light.
Above: Pickett Street, Dandenong. Hugh Murray & Son. Agricultural harrows manufacturer, moved to Dandenong in 1915 (from Buln Buln). Nowadays the factories in the photo occupy from No. 1 to No. 17 Pickett Street. It seems that Eastern Metallurgical Founders may have shared the foundry with Hugh Murray & Son, perhaps in the buildings pictured. Hugh Murray Agricultural Equipment still occupy the buildings today.
1960 photo, http://olddandenong.blogspot.com 1060s
However in 1949, the owners of the Pickett Street property ‘commenced proceedings for ejectment’, and in view of this the company purchased land in Grace Street (Cheltenham Road), Dandenong and commenced the building of their own foundry.
Grace Street, Dandenong
The site was on the corner of Grace street (Cheltenham Road) and Greaves Street (now Carroll Lane), opposite what was the Dandenong Saleyards (1958 – 1998). The site is currently occupied by a Coles Express Shell service station.
Above: View eastward alongside Cheltenham Road, November 2020. The grass area is where the Dandenong Saleyards was located until 1998; the distant Shell service station on the corner of Cheltenham Road and Carroll Lane occupies the site where Eastern Metallurgical Founders was located. Unfortunately, no old photographs showing the foundry have been discovered.
Click image for larger view.
Raising Funds for a New Foundry
During a 1951 shareholders meeting, W. G. Goetz directors asked shareholders present to subscribe to an issue of £35,000 in Cumulative Shares commencing on 6th April that year, to raise funds to complete the construction of the Grace Street (Cheltenham Road) foundry and to ensure supply of raw materials.
Below: Memo to shareholders present at an early 1951 meeting (exact date unknown).
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Below: Cumulative Shares application form. Click image for larger view.
Below: Notices of Consent for the share issue from the Commonwealth of Australia, 19 January, 1951. Click image for larger view.
Apparently the share issue was a success as Goetz posted a healthy profit for the year to 30 June 1951. From The Argus, 11 September 1951, p. 11
Below: Advertisement in the Dandenong Journal, 26 January 1949, p.13
Below: From The Age, 20 October 1976, p. 29
Below: Letterhead from a letter to the Lonsdale Street Dandenong branch of the National Bank of Australia, dated 11th April 1967. Note the address ‘Grace Street, Dandenong’. According to street directories of the time, the portion of Cheltenham Road known as Grace street was renamed as Cheltenham Road sometime around 1966. From then onwards, the foundary’s address was 51 Cheltenham Road (see map near top of this article).
Below: An advertisement in the Dandenong Lions Club Recipe Book, 1971 or ’72.
Keels, yachts and tall ships
Eastern Metallurgical Founders cast a number of keels for ocean-going racing yachts involved in the Sydney to Hobart races. In 1995, the company cast the keel for the replica tall ship Enterprise, the original of which brought first settlers to what would become Melbourne in 1835. For a full article in the 28 January 2009 Berwick Gazette about Eastern Metallurgical Founders involvement in the project under the management of Bob Street, click this link.