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APictureofaSouthernTownLifeinWartimeReadingBerkshireEnglandUKPAGE1940 was the year Winston Churchill became British Prime Minister and Franklin D Roosevelt won a third term as president of the USA. It was the year of Dunkirk and the Blitz, and the race riots in the US. The year Gone with the Wind was released and nylon stockings went on sale.

Back in Melbourne in 1940, a loaf of bread cost around 5 pence and a house was less than 500 pounds.

It was also the year that William Charles Angliss, who sat on the Equity Trustees board from 1943 to 1955, donated money to start a technical school for the hospitality and food industries in West Melbourne. He had earlier gifted land to become a training facility for migrant boys in farming methods – just part of the legacy of a man who was known during his lifetime for his many charitable and philanthropic gifts. Nearly eight decades later, this technical school, now called the William Angliss Institute, enjoys a deserved reputation for hospitality, cookery and tourism courses.

As a butcher, pastoralist, and pioneer meat exporter, Angliss, who was born in England before migrating to Australia in 1884, knew a thing or two about food.

Arriving in Melbourne (via Brisbane and Sydney) in 1886, Angliss set up a butcher’s shop in North Carlton. In 1892, he started exporting frozen meat, and today’s thriving beef industry is a legacy to his pioneering work in meat refrigeration.

Like many successful businessmen, politics beckoned, and from 1912 to 1952 he was a member of the Legislative Council of Victoria. Noting his 81st birthday in 1946, 

Melbourne newspaper The Argus described the speeches he delivered during his 30+ years of Parliamentary services were noted for their ‘brevity and common sense rather than eloquence’.

(The same article also noted:  ‘He has not much time for play, but he likes a game of bowls.’)