Sir Jack Stuart Brockhoff

Male 1908 - 1984  (76 years)

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  • Name Jack Stuart Brockhoff 
    Title Sir 
    Born 11 Mar 1908  South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Brockhoff, Sir Jack Stuart (1908-1984)

      by Robert Murray
      This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007

      Sir Jack Stuart Brockhoff (1908-1984), manufacturer and philanthropist, was born on 11 March 1908 in South Melbourne, third and youngest son of Victorian-born parents Frederick Douglas Brockhoff (1868-1961), manufacturer, and his wife Lola Landon, née Sleight. Frederick?s father, Adolph, had migrated from Mecklenburg, Germany, to Victoria and started the biscuit-manufacturing firm A. F. Brockhoff & Co. Entering the business early in life, Frederick became governing director of the company, which was renamed Brockhoff?s Biscuits Pty Ltd. Lola, who had been born into the Sleight family of undertakers, was a woman of strong social convictions. Jack attended Wesley College. He and his brothers, Harold Frederick (1902-1966) and Alan Bruce (1904-1989), were to spend most of their working lives with the family firm, controlling it after World War II.

      In a felicitous spread of abilities and interests, Harold managed the marketing side, Alan the manufacturing operation and Jack the administrative, financial and corporate functions. This split of responsibilities enabled the brothers to work together harmoniously, while keeping their distance. Each was a director in charge of his sector. Jack was also managing director and later chairman. All three had a remarkable physical resemblance, though substantial differences of personality. Staff addressed them as `Mr Jack?, `Mr Harold? and `Mr Alan?, and generally the atmosphere was friendly and paternal.

      After 1945 the brothers anticipated a significant growth in demand for their products. Believing it to be economically imperative that they increase production, they purchased a large block of former market-gardening land at East Burwood in 1951 and opened an ambitious new factory there in 1953. The scale of operation allowed by the extra space and new plant gave their firm a competitive advantage and Brockhoff?s share of the market expanded at the expense of its rivals T. B. Guest & Co. Pty Ltd, Swallow & Ariell Ltd and Sunshine Biscuits Ltd.

      Biscuit manufacturers mostly operated within one State but in the 1950s William Arnott Pty Ltd of Sydney began buying out or merging with interstate firms. When the American-owned Nabisco Pty Ltd entered the Australian market, Arnott?s, Brockhoff?s and Guest?s combined defensively, forming the Australian Biscuit Co. Pty Ltd, but at first keeping their operations separate. Nabisco sought to take over the publicly listed Swallow & Ariell in 1964 and Jack Brockhoff worked closely, shrewdly and courageously with Arnott?s directors to beat Nabisco in a share-market battle, acquiring Swallow & Ariell for the Australian Biscuit Co.

      Realising that the day of the medium-sized, one-State manufacturer was passing, Brockhoff then led his family firm into a full merger with Arnott?s. The combined company became Arnott?s Biscuits Pty Ltd in 1966 and the Brockhoff name gradually disappeared from supermarket shelves over the next few years. Arnotts Ltd was floated as a public company in 1970. Jack retired as chairman and managing director of the Melbourne operation, Arnott-Brockhoff-Guest Pty Ltd, in 1973 but was to remain a director of Arnotts Ltd until 1984.

      Reserved, introverted and markedly shy, Brockhoff was nevertheless an astute businessman and investor who was also kind and honest. Much of his wealth came from private investment, an abiding interest. He could be very generous, but abhorred waste, show or pretence. He was a life governor of the Sandringham and District Memorial Hospital, the Royal Children?s Hospital, the Burwood Boys? Home and the Victorian Civil Ambulance. In 1979 he organised a philanthropic trust, the Jack Brockhoff Foundation, and endowed it with $5 million. He was knighted that year. The foundation was dedicated to assisting `the people of Victoria?. Most of its grants were of moderate amounts disbursed to a wide range of charities, but it gave priority to helping children and the elderly, and to funding medical research.

      On 14 October 1933 at St John?s Church of England, Toorak, Brockhoff had married Claire Cornelia Josephine Herd. The marriage was childless and broke down very quickly; the experience seemed to affect his personality, increasing his reserve. He lived modestly at Sandringham, a hard-drinking bachelor devoted to golf, bowls, sailing, fishing and business, and a member of numerous sporting clubs, including the Victoria Amateur Turf and the Victoria Racing clubs. Unexpectedly, on 27 June 1980 at Sandringham he married, with Uniting Church forms, Ursula Edith Lycoudis, née Hill, a widow who had recently been his housekeeper; the marriage was happy but short. Sir Jack died on 3 September 1984 at his home and was cremated. His will, sworn for probate at $7,455,835, provided the foundation with about $6 million in additional funds and almost $1 million more on the death of Lady Brockhoff in 199

    Gender Male 
    Died 3 Sep 1984  Sandringham, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Record information
      Event: deaths
      Registration number 20145 / 1984
      Family name: BROCKHOFF
      Given name(s) Jack Stuart
      Place of event: Sandringham, Australia
      Personal detail
      Mother's name , Lola
      Mother's family name at birth SLEIGHT
      Father's Name: , BROCKHOFF Frederick Douglas
      (Victoria Dearh Index)

    Cremated 5 Sep 1984  Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Jack Stuart Brockhoff
      Date of birth
      Date of death
      Date of service: 05 September 1984
      Service provided: Cremated
      Funeral director
      Tenure expiry date
      Cemetery: Springvale Botanical
      Melbourne Deceased Cemetery Search
    Person ID I17002  Hickey, List, Bundesen, Thomsen, Jensen, Jessen
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2020 

    Father Fredrick Douglas Brockhoff,   b. 1868, Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Oct 1961, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93 years) 
    Mother Lola Landon Sleight,   d. 18 Mar 1939, Fife House, Queen's Road,Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 1897  Holy Trinity Church, East Melbourne, , Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Record information
      Event: marriages
      Registration number 132 / 1897
      Family name: SLEIGHT
      Given name(s) Lola Landon
      Personal detail
      Spouse's family name: BROCKHOFF
      Spouse's given name(s) Fred Douglas
      (Victoria Marriage Index)

      Part of Marriage discription.

      BROCKHOFF-SLEIGHT.-The marriage of Miss Lola Landon Sleight, second daughter of Mrs. A. Sleight, of "Kieta," Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, with Mr. Frederiok Douglas Brockhoff, eldest son of Mr. A. F. Brookhoff, of Caulfleld,
      took place quietly at Holy Trinity Church, East Melbourne, on Wednesday evening, February 10.
      The Rev. G. H. Hindley officiated. Only the relatives and immediate friends of the two families were
      present. The bride was given away by her uncle, Mr. Leslie Stuart Gregson, and was attended by three bridesmaids-Miss Ethel Sleight, Miss Brockoff and Miss Popsis Brookhoff. Mr. Charles Brockhoff (brother of bridegroom) acted as best man, and Messrs Victor Seward and Stuart Brunton as groomsmen.

      The bride looked very pretty in a becoming gown of ivory white brocade, embellished with a oorsage of white ohiffon, and further enriched with trimmings of lilies of the valley. A Brussels net veil was fastened with a handsome diamond star.

      A bridal bouquet of choice exocits completed the

      Table Talk, Melbourne, Victoria, Friday, 12 Feb 1897

      Mr. A. F.Brockhoff, of "Nithsdale," Caulfield, and Miss Lola
      Sleight, second daughter of the late Augustus A. Sleight,
      of " Kieta," East Melbourne, was celebrated at Trinity Church, East Melbourne, on 10th February, at 7 p.m. The service was conducted by the Rev. W. G. Hindley, of Kew.
      The wedding was a quiet one, invitation being strictly confined to near relatives of the bride and bridegroom.

      Mr. Joseph Summere, who presided at the organ, played
      very brilliantly some charming music, including Mendelssohn's Wedding March" and the march from

      The bride was given away by her uncle, Mr. Leslie
      Gregson, of Seymour, and looked very pretty in a trained robe of white brocade in a rich design ; both sleeves and yokes were of chiffon, very finely goffered.
      The swathed bodice was of brocade, with a folded
      waist of white satin falling in long ends at the
      left side of the skirt. The double epaulettes of brocade were finished with goffered chiffon, cluster of lilies
      of the valley, and ivory tinted wheatears set in rosettes
      of chiffon and satin finished the dainty bodice, the
      square train was lined with white silk and trimmed with bows of satin ribbon and carbon ornaments; also small sprays of lilies of the valley ; her wreath of natural orange blossom was worn under a gracefully arranged veil of fine
      bridal net, fastened with a handsome diamond spray
      and brooch ornament.
      Tbe handsome bouquet of the choicest exotice, mixed with fairy ferns and tied with a handsome sash, was most
      artistically arranged by Miss Kemp, of Collins street.
      Melbourne Punch Victoria, Thursday, 18 Apr 1897

    Family ID F6083  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Claire Cornelia Josephine Herd 
    Married 14 Oct 1933  St John's Church of England, Toorak, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Divorced Dec 1937  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Divorce Court.
      Sitting In the Practice Court yesterday. Mr. Justice Macfarlan granted Jack Stuart Brockhoff, 29 years, of St. George's and Lansell roads, Toorak. manufacturer, a decree nisi for the dissolution of his marrlace with Claire Cornelia Josephine Brockboff, 25 years, of Glen Eira-road. Elsternwlck. on the ground of misconduct. Costs were awarded against Thomas O'Neill, of Tivoli-road, South Yarra, riding Instructor, who was joined as co-respondent. Petitioner and respondent were married at Toorak on October 14, 1933.
      The Age, Melbourne, Victoria, Saturday, 4 Dec 1937.
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2020 
    Family ID F6086  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Ursula Edith Lycoudis, née Hill,   d. 1995, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 27 Jun 1980  Sandringham Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, (MUP), 2007
    Last Modified 1 Dec 2020 
    Family ID F6087  Group Sheet

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