CHAPTER THREE CONT.
During the years between 1953-1955 Ken Kemp was progressing rapidly with examinations to qualify as a Valuer as a member of the Commonwealth Institute of Valuers and Geoff Cunningham qualified as a member of the Commonwealth Institute of Accountants in 1954.
This was the era of the ‘New Australian” influx of mainly European workers and the salesmen were extremely busy trying to satisfy the expanded market. In almost every sale, finance was required and mainly private sources were preferred. Most of these buyers previously had experienced poor relations with Banks and large organisations in their homelands and suspected the same here. Our Trust Account lending grew rapidly during this period.
By 1955 the office systems were running smoothly and both Mr. Lilley and Mr. Bill Taylor had indicated their satisfaction of the harmony between the “three young ones” giving them the chance to consider retirement a few years hence, with some confidence. It was on the wedding day of Geoff Cunningham and his wife Norma on the 1st October 1955 that Geoff Taylor, Ken Kemp and Geoff Cunningham were admitted as Junior Partners.
The following year the National Mutual Life Association, the owners of the building, decided to refurbish the building. Chaos reigned for a year or two but we continued to operate firstly from temporary space in Lydiard Street then in Sturt Street in premises formerly occupied by Mr. M. Bade – Tobacconist who had occupied the area since the construction of the building. The public entry was moved closer to Sturt Street, the manual wire- caged lift operated by the caretaker Mr. Clyde Hicks and his father before him, was dismantled and replaced with an electric elevator.
The copper dome on the top of the building was removed as can be seen from early photographs of the building. This coincided with the removal of TOMMY WELSH’S kiosk outside our office door. Tommy was a one-armed veteran from World War 1 and was a real character especially selling his confectionery to the office girls from Lydiard Street offices.
When the office returned to normal in 1957 we were presented with a bronze plaque by the N.M.L.A. –“In appreciation of 53 years of valued service as our local Secretaries”. At the same time we were advised that our services were no longer required as the Association was opening its own office on the Sturt Street frontage with its own staff. So ended our association, which commenced in 1904.
The flaws in their “Home Purchase Assistance” policies which were being sold frequently by Mr. R.H. Young and his assistants Doug Cotton and George Roberts were becoming increasingly obvious as Policy-holders (home-owners) wished to sell their homes. The system was wrongly formulated in my view. The borrower was sold a “whole of life” insurance policy for the amount of the loan. The repayments were based on interest only, and so on maturity, the original loan remained as no repayments had been made off the principal. The only value in the policy was the “Surrender Value” which was not sufficient to repay the debt. Hence those who wished to sell their home were left with a virtually worthless life policy and a shortfall which most could not meet without borrowing for the purpose. As a result, George Roberts joined our Sales staff on the 22nd October 1951 and later on the 1st July 1955 Douglas Cotton did likewise. Each served the office with distinction for over 20 years. They were both excellent salesmen, well respected gentleman and contributed greatly to the success and reputation of the office.
Mr. Bill Taylor decided to semi-retire to Pt. Lonsdale in December 1958. For some time Mr. Lilley had been in poor health and in January 1959 he passed away. We were fortunate however to have secured the services of Mr. Ern Farley from the Union-Fidelity Trustee Co. Ltd. Ern was a qualified Valuer and had replaced both former senior partners in that capacity.
When Mr. Bill Taylor retired on the 30th June 1962, he wrote to the three continuing partners – Geoff Taylor, Ken Kemp and Geoff Cunningham. “I should like you to know how much I appreciate your help, co-operation and friendship over the years and to wish you all every possible success in the future.
We readily agreed that there was no advantage to be gained in a change of name and DOEPEL LILLEY & TAYLOR continued as our Trading Name.
The partnership had changed with the admission of Ern Farley on the 30th June 1960. Ern became a very popular, efficient and genuine Auctioneer of Houses, Farms and Furniture. He concentrated mostly on valuations however, as Valuations were of paramount importance to the business at that time.
He was appointed to the Land Valuation Board and served with distinction on the Board until, and then after, his retirement.
Meanwhile, Ken Kemp had qualified as a member of the Commonwealth Institute of Valuers. He was appointed Valuer to a number of Co-operative Housing Society groups and other Home Lenders and, in this time of great activity, was combining his selling and rent control responsibilities with the extra valuing duties he shared with Ern Farley.
Ken was also an effective Auctioneer and, combined with the previously mentioned responsibilities enjoyed the respect of the public as being a genuine Practitioner and a most reliable Partner who gained the loyalty of the staff by his ability to work in harmony with Staff and Partners alike.
It was about this time when David Ross Bolster (Dave) retired as a builder and joined the Sales staff on the 30th April 1968.
Dave worked very closely with Ern Farley and Ken Kemp in all aspects of Real Estate. His knowledge of building principles and materials was of great advantage. Dave soon settled into the role and was very effective in the sales of new houses in particular. Following his retirement due to health reasons, Dave has been a regular visitor to the office and still remains active in his Legacy Club activities and still enjoys the respect of both Principals and Staff that he earned as a Real Estate Salesman.