Horlicks makes global impact from Bomaderry

EXCITEMENT: The opening of the Horlicks Pty. Ltd. drew a crowd in June 1952. Photo: Shoalhaven Historical Society.
EXCITEMENT: The opening of the Horlicks Pty. Ltd. drew a crowd in June 1952. Photo: Shoalhaven Historical Society.

This year will mark 66 years since milk processing firm Horlicks Pty. Ltd. officially opened its doors in Bomaderry. 

It was the first of the factories in the growing industrial area at Bomaderry and had a strong family tradition. 

The site is now occupied by the Manildra Group. 

The following information was printed in the Shoalhaven and Nowra News on Wednesday, February 1, 1967. 

Horlicks as founded by Sir James Horlick in 1875 and grew to a worldwide organisation, with factories in England, America and Australia.

About 7500 gallons of milk were handled daily and a percentage of this was consigned to the Milk Board and the residue was processed into various products, including malted milk and by-products. 

Horlicks was taken on almost every major expedition, including Scott’s epic journey to the Antarctic, and Sir Edmund and has been served to competitors during the actual games. 

Horlicks were pioneers of artificial insemination in England, and no expense was spared in the maintenance of the highest possible standard in bulls, equipment and research. 

UNDERWAY: Residents are taken on a tour of the new factory in the 1950s. Photo: Shoalhaven Historical Society.

UNDERWAY: Residents are taken on a tour of the new factory in the 1950s. Photo: Shoalhaven Historical Society.

During both World Wars it was used extensively as an emergency ration, and many a soldier, sailor or airman owes his life to Horlicks tablets. 

After the war the Home Board demonstrated its confidence in Australia and in the milk producing capacity of the South Coast area by building its Shoalhaven factory. 

Oliver Horlick arrived in Australia in 1934 and started the Bomaderry factory in 1938.

Work began on the three storey brick building on Bolong Road in 1049 at a cost estimated at 250,000 pounds. 

The new Bomaderry factory was officially opened in June 1952. 

The new factory was one of the most modern food plants in the Southern Hemisphere.

Large quantities of Horlicks were shipped to New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Malaya and the Far East, India, Myanmar, Ceylon and the Middle East, and Africa. 

INDUSTRY: Horlicks Pty. Ltd. was the first factory in the industrial area at Bomaderry. The site is now occupied by the Manildra Group. Photo: Shoalhaven Historical Society.

INDUSTRY: Horlicks Pty. Ltd. was the first factory in the industrial area at Bomaderry. The site is now occupied by the Manildra Group. Photo: Shoalhaven Historical Society.

Milk was consigned to the factory from farmers between Nowra and Milton.

About three quarters of the product produced was for export. 

Two shifts were worked and the factory operated five days a week. 

In 1961 the factory was reported to employ around 120 people. 

They later ventured into the production of wheaten starch and gluten.

In 1967 there was around 135 people employed at the factory. 

All information courtesy of the Shoalhaven Historical Society. 

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