One hundred years of Kellerberrin Farmers Co-operative was celebrated on Saturday as one of the town’s most iconic organisations reached its milestone birthday.
Member for Central Wheabelt Mia Davies MLA joined shareholders, dignitaries and staff at Old Golf Club House for a celebratory sundowner event that included memorabilia from a bygone era on display.
Ms Davies said regional co-operative business models such as that operating in Kellerberrin made significant contributions to the State’s economy and were often the engine rooms of local economies.
“The co-operative model has a long and interesting history in regional WA,” she said.
“Kellerberrin is no different, having taken over McCabe’s Grocery Store, Massingham Street in 1917 after being formed by a group of local directors.
“The business dabbled in motor car and fuel supplies, farm machinery, timber, a shearing depot, self-service grocery store and even the construction of Kellerberrin Hotel after it burned down in 1996.”
Much of the co-operative movement in WA was forged following the establishment of Westralian Farmers in 1915, which provided grand scale grain accumulation and merchandising to regional areas.
Ms Davies said Kellerberrin, which for a long time traded as Universal Suppliers, was one of four Wheatbelt co-operatives celebrating centenaries in 2017.
“History shows that retail co-operatives form an important part of the commercial fabric of many regional communities, including Kellerberrin where it still employs 23 staff,” she said.
“They create a sense of participation and ownership through shareholdings and remain operating in Cunderdin, Quairading, York and Westonia, all except the last of which turn 100 this year.”
Ms Davies said the stability of Kellerberrin Co-op was ingrained in the fact it has had only 11 managers in 100 years.
She paid tribute to current Manager Linda Taylor and Chair Kate Cole, both of whom are the first women to be appointed to their respective positions.
Shareholders, who are offered a trading discount, were gifted two bottles of centenary badged wine specially designed to commemorate Kellerberrin Co-op’s big day.
For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies on 9041 1702 (Merredin office), 9622 2871 (Northam office) or email firstname.lastname@example.org