Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited was incorporated on 21 January, 1903, having previously traded as two separate companies – Pattinson and Co. and Washington H. Soul and Co.
Caleb Soul and his son Washington opened their first store at 177 Pitt Street, Sydney, in 1872, while Lewy Pattinson opened his first pharmacy in Balmain in 1886. The men became friends and never opened in direct opposition to one another.
Lewy Pattinson used to ride around the shops in the morning, arriving at head office about lunchtime, and in those days used to tether his horse outside. One day in the 1890s, on arriving at head office, he found the whole block had been boarded up. There had been an outbreak of bubonic plague in Sydney. Washington Soul, Caleb’s son, was waiting for him and said “Mr. Pattinson, I have taken the liberty of moving your head office to our head office at 160 Pitt Street, Sydney. Please continue to use it until you are allowed back into your own premises”.
Some years later Washington Soul approached his old friend, Lewy Pattinson, and asked if Pattinson & Co. would buy him out. Pattinson agreed and after discussion with his partners, Pattinson and Co. bought out Washington H. Soul and Co., effective from 1st April 1902.
Out of respect for his old friends, Lewy Pattinson included the name of Washington H. Soul in the name of the new company, Washington H. Soul Pattinson & Company Limited. The first public offering of shares was in December, 1902 and Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited was listed on the Sydney Stock Exchange (now the Australian Stock Exchange) on 21 January, 1903.
Over 110 Years as a Listed Public Company – Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited is one of the few successful public companies that has been managed by the same family from the outset – and therein lies the key to its strength.
Its leadership has been grounded in successive family members who value the history of the company, yet are able to adapt to changing times and economic conditions. All have had the ability to spot talented people to fill senior and middle management positions.
In turn, management has always been supported by able, loyal and long-serving staff. More than 40 employees have worked for the company for over 50 years. Five generations of the Pattinson family have served the company, as have three generations of the Dixson, Spence, Rowe and Letters families.
Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited is now a significant investment house with a portfolio encompassing many industries – its traditional field of pharmacy as well as retail, building materials, natural resources, equity investments, agriculture, telecommunications and corporate advisory.
Gone are the days when the company was known purely as a chain of chemists
|A collection of photos illustrating the rich history of WHSP.|
|Caleb Soul looking the part of the company founder.|
|Lewy Pattinson in the mid 1890’s|
|Pattinson and Co Ltd had six stores by 1890 in Balmain, Newtown, Oxford Street, North Sydney, Redfern and the main store at the intersection of George and Market Streets.|
|The LM Pattinson Aerial Ambulance was the first aeroplane in the Royal Flying Doctor Service based in Broken Hill. Lewy Pattinson, who was known for his community and charitable donations, donated the aeroplane in 1940.|
|One of the New Hope Corporation’s forays into Indonesia was PT Adaro mine which proved to be immensely successful. The mine’s production levels are increasing annually.|