Biography – GZOWSKI, Sir

Sir Charles Jones Biography

This article was published in , Volume 9, (MUP), 1983

Sir Charles Lloyd Jones (1878-1958), merchant and patron of the arts, was born on 28 May 1878 at Burwood, Sydney, son of native-born parents Edward Lloyd Jones (d.1894), draper, and his wife Helen Ann, née Jones, and grandson of David Jones. He was educated at the Manor House School, London, and Homebush Grammar School, Sydney, but showed little academic aptitude. In 1895 he attended Julian Ashton's art school and later the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London. Failing in his ambition to exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts, he gave up hopes of an artistic career, and qualified as a tailor and cutter in London. On 16 November 1900 when visiting Sydney he married Winifred Ethelwyn (d.1916), daughter of Dr Frederick Quaife and granddaughter of Rev. Barzillai Quaife, at Trinity Congregational Church, Strathfield; they were childless.

On his return to Sydney in 1902, Jones worked in David Jones' clothing factory before transferring to the advertising department. His creative flair and awareness of American trends were recognized and by 1905 he was advertising manager. When David Jones Ltd became a public company in 1906, he was appointed a director and was chairman in 1920-58. Under his guidance the firm prospered and expanded: a second store in Elizabeth Street was completed in 1927 (which benefited from the nearby St James station) and a third on the corner of Market and Castlereagh streets was opened in 1938 to mark the firm's centenary. The first interstate extension came in 1953 with the acquisition of Bon Marché in Perth.

A staunch advocate of free enterprise, Jones prided himself that David Jones was a 'store with a soul', dedicated to customer service, responsible to its shareholders (who regularly received a ten per cent dividend) and to its staff. Strict when necessary, Jones was approachable and a ready listener; his paternalistic care for staff and his quiet courtesy won him respect and loyalty.

Among other public positions Jones was treasurer of the Sydney Chamber of Commerce (1915-16), president of the Retail Traders' Association of New South Wales (1915), the Australian division of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and of the Kindergarten Union of New South Wales, a founder and director of the board supervising the Australian National Travel Association, chairman of the Cancer Appeal Fund and member of the University Cancer Research Committee. A director of radio station 2BL, he was appointed first chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission in May 1932. He hoped to found a national orchestra and wanted the A.B.C. to follow 'in the footsteps of the British Broadcasting Corporation' with programmes that would be popular as well as cultural. Educational broadcasts and concerts began, but striking a balance between ideals and resources proved difficult. Conflict over content and disunity in the administration, coupled with the death of his brother and Depression business worries, led him to resign in 1934.

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Who is the singer Sir Charles Jones?

Sir Charles Jones is an American singer associated with the "Southern Soul" and contemporary blues music. Sir Charles Jones has been crowned "The King of Southern Soul." !

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