Tasmania’s greatest entrepreneur Sir Henry Jones wasn’t around to celebrate his 150th anniversary the other week, but that didn’t stop supporters throwing a party.
The morning tea event was held at the Henry Jones Art Hotel and attended by a number of high-profile Tasmanians from the Federal Group business community and public sector, as well some of the well-known figure’s descendants.
Helping to toast the publican was Federal Group director of corporate affairs Mr Daniel Hanna, who spoke affectionately of one of the state’s most recognisable industry identities.
“Sir Henry Jones was a phenomenal individual who, perhaps more than any other person in the state, helped to grow the Tasmania economy and Tasmanian exports,” he said.
“Sir Henry is a Tasmanian icon and his name has a strong level of recognition with Tasmanians. It is hoped that in the future there can be other ways to celebrate the life and contribution of this extraordinary man.”
The life of Sir Henry Jones has been passed down from one generation to the next, but it never fails to entertain and enthral young listeners.
Born in 1862 in Hobart Town and of Welsh descent, Sir Jones was originally a jam manufacturer who started his career pasting labels on tins and eventually became an expert jam-boiler.
During a difficult period for the industry in the mid-1880s, Jones was promoted to factory foreman and later went on to take control of the jam factory where he was first employed.
He then set up a partnership with his former boss’ son to start IXL – a pun on “I excel” – and went on to build a successful business within the food industry.
Ventures in mining also helped to boost his personal wealth and public profile. However, it was his role in building Australian industry that saw him knighted in 1919.