NCWSBA celebrated its Centenary on 20th February with 2 auctions and a reception. The NCWSBA Centenary Wool Auction was held at the Peter Calvo Auditorium of the Australian Institute of Music in King St, Melbourne. It was a great event with Melbourne buyers out in force to support and bid for the 200 lots on offer. We also had a large number of growers, broking staff, industry people and others observing the auction, both at the back of the auction floor and in the mezzanine viewing area. The auction was opened by NCWSBA President, John Colley, who noted that the first Board of NCWSBA met for the first time in January 1920 in the building.
A total of 1,352 bales were offered in the 200 lots by 12 broker members of NCWSBA – Rodwells, Elders, WISS, Landmark, Jemalong, Schute-Bell, Macdonald & Co, AWN, Wool Solutions, Michell Direct, Roberts Wool and Rhodes Wool. 1,316 bales in 195 lots were sold as the buyers bid enthusiastically. AWH was on hand using its WoolEx auction trading platform. I would like to thank AWH for the significant effort put in by its IT group and the on-the-ground staff.
After the auction finished, we then moved to the Intercontinental – The Rialto for the Centenary Cocktail Reception. Around 200 wool broking staff, wool growers, wool buyers and exporters, industry representatives, staff from some of the sponsoring companies and past Presidents and Executive Directors attended the reception. The President, John Colley, gave a short speech. He noted that NCWSBA was formed following discussions between the various state wool broking organisations who were concerned about the significant stockpile of wool which had been paid for by the British Government under the compulsory war acquisitions scheme but had not been delivered. They feared it would cause wool prices to fall as the new seasons production became available. The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia was formed with the intention that it would operate for 2 years to negotiate with the Australian Government on the war wool stockpile. Yet, here we are 100 years later celebrating the Centenary! John also reminded the audience about the industry issues that the NCWSBA had addressed in its 100-year history.
We honoured the past Presidents and past Executive Directors who were present: Don Fraser (President, twice - between 1997 and 2000 and again in 2005/2006); Robert Ryan (President, twice - between 2000 and 2003 and between 2006 and 2010); Kym Gunn (President, between 2012 and 2014); Simon Hogan (President, between 2014 and 2016); Lionel Ward (Executive Director, between 1992 and 1997) and John O’Connor (Executive Director, between 1997 and 2008).
We then recognised and honoured the sponsors: AWH, Bayer Australia, AWTA Ltd, Talman, Techwool Trading, Swan Wool Processors, AWRX, United Wool Company, Heiniger, PJ Morris, NAB, Pack-tainers, Lempriere, New England Wool, Reda, Endeavour Wool Exports, Grampian Wools, Michell Wool/ioMerino, Modiano Australia, Merino & Co, Southern Aurora, G Schneider Australia, Ermenegildo Zegna, Winnipeg Handling and United by Wool.
A highlight of the Cocktail Reception was a charity auction of items (mainly wool-related items and gift vouchers) donated by a number of companies: Ermenegildo Zegna; Reda; United by Wool, ioMerino, Merino & Co and Elders. The auctioneer was the President, John Colley, supported by NCWSBA Directors Simon Hogan and Stephen Keys, as well as the inaugural NCWSBA Broker Award winner, Kelvin Shelley. There was some excited and enthusiastic bidding among the crowd, and we raised a fantastic total of $16,700 for the Michael Manion Wool Industry Foundation. Thank you to all the bidders.
Ken Stock, the chairman of the Foundation, gave a short speech prior to the auction explaining what the Foundation is and the work it does. You can see more about the charity work it does by going to https://www.woolindustries.org/MMWIF.htm. This was a great effort by all involved and all money raised goes to a very worthy cause.
There were many people who helped make the event a success, including those who attended last night. But there are a few that I would like to extend my personal thanks as they helped enormously: Shannon Crowe (Landmark), Melissa Mulley (AWIS), Matt Tattersall (Elders), Bianca Heaney (AWIS), Sean Hutton (Australian Institute of Music), Adrian Hook (AWH) and also from AWH - David Mitchell, Darryl Drake and the AWH IT team.