So what stands out after Varley’s first 85 years of operation?
Foremost is the company’s ability to not only ride out, but also rebuild even stronger following the inevitable downturns and depressions that are part and parcel of commercial existence. Varley survived not only two major global depressions in the 1890s and 1930s, but also two world wars that proved to be make-or-break for many Australian manufacturing firms.
Next is the Company’s remarkable continuity of family and staff, and the people skills essential to maintaining a harmonious and efficient workplace during times of great stress, suffering and industrial development. Varley’s common long-term employee loyalty has always provided a stable management and skilled workforce, which formed a platform for strength during the shifting tides of commercial welfare.
Associated with this is the role of the Varley family in terms of national and community service. From George Henry’s leadership of the Newcastle Brass Band, Reginald’s term as Mayor of Hamilton, active service in both world wars and commitment to public functions such as the Newcastle Show and many charitable organisations, all Varley family members and Company leaders have embraced the responsibilities involved with directing a firm with such a heavy community impact.
Finally, Varley’s first 85 years of existence laid the strong and lasting foundation for what the Company would become in modern years – expanding from an iron shed in King Street through to a multi-national organisation with numerous facilities and almost 500 employees.
Throughout the coming months we will document the Company’s growth from the 1970s through into the 21st Century, so be sure to stay tuned for more of the incredible Varley Story.