The advertising cover has a green stylized motif describing the company, with a circular Joubert & Joubert/ J &J/ PTY LTD and a diamond-shaped IMPORT/ EXPORT & GENERAL AGENTS as well as a return address of 575 Bourke Street Melbourne at the bottom of the envelope. It was addressed to The Superintendent, Manangatang District Hospital. Manangatang, Vic. The green 1d stamp had a roller cancel with a boxed MELBOURNE/ 4 PM/ 7 DEC/ 1936 (?8)/ VICTORIA associated with a slogan ‘CONVERSION / LOAN/ NOW OPEN’ (Figure 1).
The history of the family firm from 1920 until 1986 was told by Tony, Peter Joubert’s son:
After leaving school he was asked to train with the Richmond Football Club, but broke his leg in a practice game playing for Old Scotch – and that was the end of his Victoria Football League aspirations.
On leaving school he joined Gollin and Co. before joining the family company Joubert and Joubert Pty Ltd, which was started after World War I, in 1919, by his Grandfather Alfred and Father George Joubert.
It was a family company, whose business was importing and exporting: Among the items imported were razor blades, liquor, motor cars and surgical dressings. At one stage exports to France included frozen rabbits for food during the war and cowhorns for combs. The company was best known for its car imports Daimler and Delage cars.
The Company’s major business before and after World War II was as an agent for Australian and UK manufacturers of surgical dressings.
In the latter years of the company, before selling to Pacific Dunlop in 1986, it made carpet underlay/urethane foam and to a lesser extent cotton dressings, which were supplied to hospitals.
The partnership successfully developed the business to include three factories in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide with some 300 employees at its peak.
It was a unique team, while brother David ran the manufacturing and administration of the company, Peter was responsible for the sales and marketing. Other family members who served in the company were Alfred Lionel Joubert and Bertram Francois Joubert was a Director of the company.
When Peter retired, after selling the family home in Hawthorn, Sorrento became the focal point where he lived.
Here the garden and the Sorrento Golf Club became his centre of interest, particularly when he became head of the greens committee.
Golf was always his favourite sport – his lowest handicap was four.
Later in life he became very interested in tennis. As a natural sportman at most ball sports, he became frustrated at not excelling at tennis – this bought out his most competitive nature.
He had this uncanny ability to make people feel comfortable and welcome just with his smile, his voice and his warmth. Over 600 attended his memorial service.
Survived by his wife Kaye, his children Tony (’75), Sally, Richard (’79), six grandchildren and his brother David (’47 ). Peter passed away on the 5 October, 2001, and a memorial service was held on the 9 October 2001 – the day of his 70th Birthday.
The Argus (Melbourne) on 28 July 1939 had a paragraph about the legacies left for his employees as gifts by Mr. Alfred Lionel Joubert, (the grandfather of Peter Joubert) merchant at Bourke St., Melbourne who died on June 4, 1939, as follows: £50 to each clerk who had been employed at Joubert & Joubert for 20 years; £20 for 10 years; and £10 for those employed 5 years. For his servants at his home: For 20 years he left £25, and for 10 years he left £10 each. The same paper dated 6 June 1939 headed a paragraph, Mr. Alfred L. Joubert, who died after a short illnessat his home in Threadneedle Street, Balwyn on Sunday. He was the Managing Director of Joubert & Joubert, general merchants, Bourke St. was 71 years. He was born at Hunter’s Hill Sydney and was educated at Sydney Grammar School. He is survived by a widow, 2 sons and a daughter.
The Joubert & Joubert firm as importers/exporters and general merchants were prolific advertisers in the newspapers and frequently had adverts with figures. An example of such was seen in the Argus (Melbourne) on 7 September 1929 regarding a food supplement, Phosphatine, “the food that makes the baby grow” for which Joubert & Joubert were sole agents in Australia (Figure 2).
A much more imposing line of goods was their brand of automobiles; Mr. W.S. Finlayson, a member of the Institute of Engineers Australia, was the manager of Jouberts’ British Motors Pty Ltd., of Bourke Street. Joubert & Joubert added the motor department to their established merchant business when they acquired the agency for Delage cars in 1921. It was then that they looked for a British agency, and acquired the franchise of the Daimler and Lanchester cars (Figure 3).
I acknowledge that I have largely used the account of Tony Joubert for much of the information about the company and his family.