Royal Reels: Gambling


The printed-to-private-order window envelope had an advertisement for A.W. Sandford & Co., Limited, Merchants, Dairy and Refrigeration Engineers, Grenfell Street, Adelaide, and the red embossed 2½d KGVI head stamp was postmarked with a roller slogan ‘PREVENT/ BUSH FIRES’ and a circular ADELAIDE/ 10-PM/ 21 DEC/ 1948/ SOUTH AUST. cancel (Figure 1).

The reverse has ‘Britain Buys Our Butter/ Lister/ British Built/ Separators/ Fitted With Staybrite/ Steel Discs and Ball-Bearings/ A.W. Sandford & Co., Limited/ Grenfell St./ Adelaide. The illustration looks like a meat grinder, rather than a separator (Figure 2).

The Scottish born Alexander Wallace Sandford was mentioned in his eldest son’s item in the A.D.B. (see later) as a bacon curer and later a merchant and politician whose Melbourne-born wife Ada Emilie néeWaite, and the family moved to Adelaide in 1880. The following obituary for A.W. Sandford was recorded in The Advertiser (Adelaide) on Saturday 1 January 1906 under the heading, ‘Death of Mr. A.W. Sandford, A Successful Business Career’.

” Mr. A.W. Sandford, the senior partner of the well-known firm of Messrs. A.W. Sandford & Co., produce merchants and formerly a member of the Legislative Council died from a liver complaint in a private hospital in the city early on Sunday morning. Mr. Sandford was born in Scotland, and with his parents came to Australia in the early sixties. He was of a very active disposition, and soon after his arrival in Victoria proceeded to the gold diggings, where he stayed several years. He also had an experience of country life in Victoria, and returning to Melbourne about 1874 entered into business in that city. Mr. Sandford started a produce establishment, with works at Yarraville and stores in Melbourne, and owing to his natural business capacity he quickly built up an extensive business on a large scale with the River Darling country of New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. He came to this state in 1878, and the Adelaide business of Messrs. A.W. Sandford was opened about 1883, the firm also establishing branches at Port Adelaide and Mount Gambier. They also have branch businesses in Western Australia”.

“Years ago Mr. Sandford quickly realised the important part that machinery was going to play in connection with dairying, with the result that the engineering branch of the firm was carefully developed until it reached that high state of efficiency in which it is to be found to-day. The firm have their own engineers, and have erected big refrigeration plants throughout Australia. Mr. John W. Sandford, a brother has been a member of the firm for many years, and, previous to his entering into partnership, was manager of the Melbourne branch. Mr. Wallace Sandford, the eldest son of A.W. Sandford, is also an active member of the firm”.

“For several years previous to his death Mr. A.W. Sandford did not take so prominent part in the business as formerly, owing to a serious affection of the throat, which made speaking a difficulty. He had thus been content to leave the management in charge of the two partners mentioned”.

“He entered the Legislative Council in 1896 and retained his seat for the full period for which he was elected. While in Parliament he accomplished good work, bringing prominently before the notice of the public matters of importance to dairy farmers. For years he was the leading member of the Royal Agricultural Society, and he had occupied the position of vice-president of the society, of which he was a member at the time of his death. He took a keen interest in the work of the producers, and the Government appointed him a member of the old Central Agricultural Bureau. In 1903 he left with one of his sons for a trip around the world, and a year later was joined in England by his wife and daughters. He returned to South Australia in August last, when he was welcomed back by the employees of Messrs. A.W. Sandford and by members of the Royal Agricultural Society. He has left a widow and three sons (Wallace, Gordon and Percy Sandford) and three daughters (Misses Olive, Clarice and Elma Sandford)”.

“Mr. Sandford was a genial, open-hearted man, with a kindly word and helping hand for everyone. His name was a synonym for honesty and straight dealing, and his death will be deeply regretted by a large circle of friends. In business he was always highly respected, and everyone who had dealings with him learnt to accept his word with the utmost confidence. He was in the every sense of the word a valuable colonist, and the influence of his work will always have a beneficial effect upon the dairying interests of this State. Politically he was a man of broad views and consistent acts, while privately he was liked by everyone with whom he came in contact”.

His eldest son became Sir James Wallace Sandford (1879-1958) and five years after the death of his father he took over the control of the company, of which he was chairman and managing director, for the rest of his life.