History of the Fish Family Business
Mr George Fish arrived in Australia from England on the ship Zemindar on the 23rd August 1857. He was born in the township of Cutcombe in the County of Somerset. Mr Fish commenced his business on the corner of Bentinck and Russel Streets, Bathurst.
Since that date there has been a direct line of descendants going back to George Fish, who have been continuously in business on the originals site.
The business that George Fish established was based on Engineering and Blacksmithing and concentrated on the production of Agricultural Machinery, Carriage Transport and Iron Ore Smelting. Each of these phases allowed him to become closely associated with the assembly of the Cobb & Co Coaches. Wagons and Buggies built by this company were a familiar sight in Bathurst as well as being widely recognised throughout New South Wales. George Fish also manufactured a wide range of implements including the now famous Fish Plough.
In the year 1899, he employed upwards of 125 employees in his foundry and backsmith operations. Joeseph Fish (the son of George), managed the business from the time of Georges death in 1901 up until 1916. Mr Fred Fish (the son of Joseph Fish), together with his two brothers Joseph (Joe) and John (Jack) commenced their business life in the family business in 1923.
Mr Fred Fish was the manager of the family company from 1923 up until 1975. It was during those years the Company gradually changed from being a manufacturing Company over to being a retail and farm machinery service company. The foundry section of the business was discontinued in 1958. One of the last operations in the foundry shop was the manufacture of the highly tempered asparagus knives that were being used at the time by the Edgell Family on their asparagus operation.
During the years that Mr Fred Fish was the Managing Director of George Fish Pty Ltd, he some how found the time to dedicate a large part of his life to the City of Bathurst, by the way of his service to Bathurst as an Alderman for 25 years. This service included 12 years as Deputy Mayor and 3 years as Mayor (1957, 1958 and 1959).
It was at his insistence and hard work and the co operation of all his Co Alderman that a permanent water supply namely Chifley Dam was constructed, as well as the introduction of many other facilities that are still being operated in Bathurst.
Brothers Terry and John Fish (sons of Fred Fish), joined the family business in 1957 and following the retirement of their father Fred from the family company in 1975, became joint managers of the company. In May 1980 Terry Fish continued business at the original site, concentrating on the wholesale and retailing of grain and stockfeeds under the name of Fish & Sons Rural & Produce Centre.
In 1986 Warwick Fish joined his father Terry in the family business followed by Kent in 1989.
It was at this stage that a decision was made to update a portion of the original George Fish premises and increase the range of products to service the faming community. On the 4th December 1998 Fish & Sons Rural & Produce Centre upgrade was completed and officially opened by Mr Peter Andren, Federal Member for Bathurst.
Following consultations with Occupational Health and Safety, a division of AusSafe in 2004, it was found that the Russell Street location had many risks, due to the age of the building. At this point it was decided to construct a new premises that would meet the present safety requirements and Government Standards and at the same time allow our Family Company to handle challenges that the new century will no doubt present.
The premises are now located at No1 Lambert Street Bathurst.
Many of our present valued customers are direct descendants from the farming community that Mr George Fish dealt with during his forty years of business. The Fish Family have now been in business at Bathurst during the periods of the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries.
Coming up to 155 years of service, a unique fact that our family is extremely proud of.