Berkshire, England
A stalwart of the company, serving 44 years at Park Royal, 18 years at board level

When I look back over my forty-four years in Guinness there were many points where my path crossed with visitors from Australia and New Zealand, and with colleagues whose careers were involved with exporting Guinness around the world, establishing new breweries, and developing contract brewing with companies such as those described in this book. Those contacts have left me with many fine memories and life-long friendships. Some of the most memorable were the visits by Australian bowls teams with whom we had many an earnest contest on the Park Royal greens and many an enjoyable dinner afterwards.

It was also my great pleasure to go through my brewing training just after the Second World War with Doug Cocks of Dunedin, and we enjoyed having him in our home at weekends. On one occasion, he showed us the benefits of his great colonial heritage when we were trying to hack down a stubborn tree. With two blows of the axe he cut a wedge and the tree was over in no time. Sadly, even though we kept in touch I never saw him again after he returned to New Zealand in 1947, but we have had the pleasure of hosting his children during their visits to England.

My own personal links go back to Australia in the 1860s when my grandfather Cecil Guinness worked as a manager for William Forlonge one of the country’s wealthiest sheep barons. Cecil’s marriage to daughter Marion Forlonge was celebrated by Rev. William Newton Guinness, the founding vicar of Christ Church, South Yarra, Melbourne, whose family are a key part of this book. Family links are much more current with my late brother Perry moving to Sydney in the 1960s. I visited him in 1986 but I regret to say I never made it across the Tasman to New Zealand.

My direct descent is from Samuel, a brother of Arthur Guinness, and founder of the banking line of the family, and I was invited to become a junior brewer in Guinness as soon as I had completed my army service in 1945. After a brief period at the Park Royal brewery in London I went to Dublin to serve my apprenticeship. I find it difficult to express now the sensations I experienced on entering the brewery for the first time. The plant seemed huge, with so many different parts all working together to one purpose, miniature steam trains running through the site, and barges and ships to transport the finished product. It was mind-boggling for a young man of twenty-one and I was now part of it.

I also became quickly conscious of the fact that I was entering a realm of history where the Guinness family had formed traditions that were based on firm Christian ethics and principles which were partnered with an acute sense of responsibility towards those in its employ. On my first night I was taken to the Mansion House in Dawson Street where a concert was being performed for brewery members, and I quickly learned about the other health and welfare services open to all the employees. Guinness was a family firm and it cared for its sons and daughters and I felt very proud to be a member of it. I soon found that concern did not stop at the brewery, as the family were outward looking, public spirited, and had actively and in a number of ways identified itself with the aspirations of Dubliners. Guinness was indeed “good for you” long before the advertising poster told you so.

When Rod Smith spoke first to me about his intention to write a book about the Guinness family and the story of the Guinness product “Down Under”, I was immediately intrigued and then enthusiastically excited. There have been a number of books written about the Guinnesses and the Brewery: some by members of the family – Patrick, Jonathan, Michele and myself – but to date no one has covered the Antipodes. This volume admirably fills that gap.

Rod told me that his interest had been triggered by the fact that his charming wife Glennis was a descendant of William Lunell Guinness, who had played a major role in the brewery’s early development, and that the research he had so far undertaken had shown that there was a very good story to be told. I offered to give him all the help I could from this end, and it has been a very real pleasure working with him.

The book is a faithful recorded of enterprise carried out bravely and with determination in a pioneering spirit, which is something of which my generation can be proud. It also provides a social history of a very important time in the development of New Zealand and Australia. I very warmly commend this book.

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