Thursday, October 29, 2020

Pearson’s Fish Cafes–part III

We pick up our story in 1930, at the onset of the Great Depression which had rippled out from the US in 1929. Jack Lang, the fiery politician starts his second term as premiere of NSW. Jack Lang *loves* the Pearson’s Fish Cafe in Pitt Street Sydney, and his presence there is frequently reported over the coming decade.

Jack Lang (1876-1975)19300708 Forbes Advocate - Sydney Sidelights - Lang likes fish

LANG The Turbulent Years

1932 – Jack Lang opens the Sydney Harbour Bridge on 19 March. (Noted for context)
19320121 Sun (Sydney) Lang subpoena19320817 Sun (Sydney) No Questions while Mr Lang has his lunch
1932 - Australia Day (January 26) – three historic figures from Australia dine at Pearson’s at the same time: Jack Lang,  aviator Air-Commodore Charles Kingsford-Smith  and Olympic multi-medallist swimmer Andrew “Boy”Charlton.

19320126 Sun (Sydney) Notables - Smithy, Lang and Charlton

Charles Kingsford Smith (1897-1935)Andrew "Boy" Charlton (1907-1975)

19320424 Truth (Sydney) - Jack Lang - excerpt

1932 – A new Adelaide venue is opened in Haigh Buildings, Rundle Street, run by the Hamiltons. The Sydney venue is mentioned but none of the three Melbourne cafes. All of the first-generation Pearsons ended up in Sydney so it is possible that the Melbourne venues had been relinquished.

19320316 News (Adelaide) - Adelaide's New Restaurant

1933 – Daily Commercial News and Shipping List reports a registration of Pearson’s Fish Cafes Ltd. Capital: £2,000. To take over Pearson's Fish Cafe and carry on the business of proprietors of fish and oyster cafes, First director: J. C. Miller. (Sydney 13/3/33.)

19330317 SMH - Company News

The Sydney Morning Herald lists subscribers as Francis Olof Pearson, Vera Louise Pearson, Annie Pearson, Sven Laurence Pearson and Beatrice M. Pearson. 

Beatrice is Laurence’s wife, married in Melbourne in 1919, her occupation listed as Cafe Manager.

Vera is my great-grandfather Walter’s second wife from 1928.

  • Annie Pearson passes, aged 78.
  • Annual Fishmonger’s Dinner is held at Pearson’s (Sydney)

19350529 Sun (Sydney) - Fishmongers Dinner19371103 Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) - Sargents Caterers buy Pearsons

1937 – Sargents (Pies) acquires Pearson’s Fish Cafe. It’s not clear what the Pearson family involvement is at this time, or how this relates to the venues in Victoria and South Australia. The Queen St Melbourne cafe must now be closed due to the re-building of the site.

1940 – Air conditioning is installed in the Pitt St cafe in 1939 and becomes a draw-card for patrons requiring a war-time oyster.  A series of staff wanted ads continues through the 1940s, with applicants referred to Mrs Pearson.

19400124 Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - It's Cool in Pearson's Fish Cafe (ad)

1951 – Pearson’s Pitt St cafe is now trading as Bamboo Chinese Restaurant

19510206 Sun (Sydney) Pearson's is now the Bamboo19560629 NSW Govt Gazette - Pearson Fish Cafe Limited trading as Bamboo Chinese Restaurant

1962 – Pearsons’ Fish Cafe Limited is struck off the NSW Companies Register.

19620119 NSW Government Gazette - company name struck off register

I think I have one more post in this series to cover some material falling outside the company chronology. I will have to do further research to uncover what the ultimate fate of all the venues was. Undoubtedly some further tidbits will arrive when these posts get picked up in searches.

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