Businesses survive a century
The great survivors of Manildra town are two families who’ve been operating successfully since the early part of the century.
One, a motor garage, the other a stock and station agency, have survived droughts, depression and the threats of close provincial cities for almost 80 years.
Allan Tom began repairing bicycles, along with his brother, James in 1914.
They worked from an old wooden slab hut converted into an office and shop, almost in the same spot where Allan Tom’s garage now stands.
From bicycles they progressed to cars.
Allan bought his first automobile – a second hand Model T Ford – for £150 in 1919 from E.C. Cameron in Orange.
He used this as a hire car and brought people regularly to Orange each Thursday to attend stock sales.
He charged $1 a passenger. The car held four people.
“We began servicing our own cars and eventually the business grew”.
Allan took over the business himself on the death of his brother in 1937.
Mr and Mrs Ian Giffin, of Manildra, operate Ian’s grandfather’s original stock and station agency that opened its doors soon after the turn of the century.
Richard Frogley began trading in Manildra first as a grocer and later established a stock, station and commission agency, R. Frogley and Co.
It trades in the same name today.
Over the years there were several changes in the structure of the business until Richard Frogley was joined by his son-in-law Geoffrey Giffin.
Following Mr Frogley’s death in 1950, Geoffrey Giffin bought the business and with the help of his wife, Jean and son, Ian they traded together until Geoffrey died in 1963.
Ian Giffin and his mother continued trading until Mrs Giffin retired in 1974.
The business is now operated by Ian and his wife Bernadette.
Today the business is primarily a commission agency.
Until the drought hit the district the Giffins also ran a nursery in conjunction with the agency.
Central Western Daily 1982, ‘Businesses survive a century’, Manildra Public School Centenary supplement, 21 October, p.13