One Foot ForwardAugust 14, 2023
ParalysedNovember 8, 2023
The Simmie Family of Simmie & Co and Harpsdale
By Andrew J Kilsby
This fascinating history is a narrative not just of an entrepreneurial family with all of its rich past and personalities, especially that of Jock Simmie, but also of two very different family businesses. Three brothers came home from World War One. Two had served at Gallipoli, all three had been wounded on the Western Front. They founded Simmie and Co in 1924, a highly successful building company which constructed a remarkable range of works, across Melbourne (1924-1978) and in Canberra (1926-1969), including some of the national capital's most iconic public buildings.
The other family business was Harpsdale, Victoria, purchased by Jock Simmie in 1940, which became a highly respected Dorset Horn Stud. Settled by the pioneer Brodie family in the 19th Century, this historic farmland and homestead has now been farmed by the Simmie family for more than 80 years. A grandson, Richard, has restored and preserved not just Harpsdale itself but the records of the family and the businesses which enabled this history to be completed.
This honest and detailed narrative will delight any reader of Australian and Victorian history from Queen Victoria's day to the present as it reveals the contribution, in its own unique way, of 'The Simmie Family of Simmie & Co and Harpsdale' to the development of this nation.