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Terry Wright

Terry Wright’s roots stretch deep into Sydney’s history, with a great grandfather who drove hansom cabs through the city’s colonial by-ways.  In the late 19th century, his father, George Frederick Wright, was one of many who took up the meat trade, running shops across the suburbs in Maroubra, Drummoyne, Balmain and Randwick. These were the days of ice houses, cool rooms and carcases hung in the open air, attended by boys waving swatches of gum leaves to keep off the flies.

George Wright raised a family of eleven children, with Terry the last born in 1934. Depression and war interrupted the family business and the Wrights relocated to Batlow on the south-west slopes of New South Wales. Terry returned with his father at war’s end to set up a new living and working situation in Sydney. His father wanted him to go to the elite Catholic boarding school, Riverview College, but instead, Terry chose Engadine’s Boys Town.

Strictly speaking he was not eligible for this home for wayward boys but George Wright managed to persuade Father Tom Dunlea that it was in his son’s best interests to go there. The Spencer Tracy film of Boys Town had recently shown at cinemas and Terry was captivated by the prospect of school, in a town run by and for boys.

It was at Boys Town that he learnt the trade at the hands of some of the best meat retailers in the state. The Meat and Allied Trades Federation of Australia (MATFA) had taken a strong interest in Boys Town, supplying it with a meat school with state of the art equipment and weekly tuition. Their aim was to assist the charitable intentions of the town but also to equip young men who could replace those lost to the meat trade through war. Fred Forrest, the President of NSW MATFA was the man in charge, instructing a host of growing boys, kitted up with the best tools and uniform the trade could offer.

The end of school years saw Terry full of the energy and commitment his customers came to know and respect. He managed shops in Sydney and New Zealand before returning to Clovelly Road Randwick and the business George Wright had started after World War 2. The family still had the residence but the shop was, by now, in other hands. Terry restored the Wright’s interest in the building, eventually buying the freehold, an uncommon move for butchers in those years. These were revolutionary years for the meat trade, with new technology, regulations and markets but Terry was ready for the challenge. Married and with a young family, he modernized the shop and threw himself into the task of establishing one of the finest retail meat businesses in the country.

The rest is history. The shop and business is still owned and run by the Wright family but they have diversified into different markets, still retaining the friendly local presence and goodwill of over half a century of successful trading.


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