Arthur Drysdale


Wrest Point hotel, 1950 (AOT, PH30/1/3482)

Arthur James Drysdale (18871971), entrepreneur, rose from humble beginnings to become a self-made millionaire. His father ran a sawmill and shop at Dover, and Arthur, inflicted with poliomyelitis as a child, began as a butcher there. An extremely successful entrepreneur, following a pattern of borrowing, buying, improving then selling, Drysdale bought and sold various businesses and in 1919 moved to Hobart, where he became one of the state's major butchers, owning a string of midlands properties which supplied him with meat. In 1939 he built the Wrest Point Riviera Hotel at Sandy Bay, which in 1973 became Australia's first casino; he also renovated Hadley's Hotel, and bought and sold Tasmanian Lotteries (Tattersalls). On Drysdale's death his estate was worth £2 million. His home, Drysdale House, is a TAFE training centre for the hospitality industry.

Further reading: ADB 14; N Goc, Sandy Bay, Hobart, 1997.

Wayne Smith